Israel Adesanya Wants To Know What Path Paulo Costa Will Follow

Israel Adesanya successfully defended the UFC middleweight title against Paulo Costa in the main event of UFC 253.

The middleweight champion knows that he could fight Costa again in the future, but Adesanya wants to know what kind of path that Costa will follow first.

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“Let it go,” Adesanya told MMA Junkie. “I’ll give you a classic example :There’s two teammates that I fought. Two teammates is the Italian (Vettori), and then there’s Kelvin Gastelum. The Italian, he ran up on me in Vegas one time smiling and he was like, ‘What’s up? What are you doing here?’ And I said, ‘I’m here for my boy (Alexander) Volkanovski’s fight.’ Then I had to tell him just shush, ‘When I told you guys I would come train with you (after our fight), it wasn’t about you or because I lost. I was just saying that to your coach because he’s a legendary coach.’ All I said was, ‘If I’m ever in the area, I’ll pop in.’ He holds onto that because that’s he way of believing that, ‘Yes, he admitted that I beat him and he wants to train with us,’ like some Eric Kaufmann (expletive). But he holds onto that because he knows, he knows deep down he’ll never see me again. He knows deep down he’ll never get a title shot. So that’s why he holds onto that as his own claim to victory when I smoked his ass in that fight. You might give him the third round, but I beat his ass easily in that fight, but he holds onto that.”

Adesanya fought and defeated Marvin Vettori by unanimous decision at UFC On Fox 29, while Adesanya defeated Kelvin Gastelum by unanimous decision at UFC 236. Costa could follow the path of Gastelum, who Adesanya knows he’ll see again in the Octagon one day.

“Now, on the flip side, his teammate Kelvin Gastelum, who was ‘this close’ to winning in our famous UFC 236 title bout in Atlanta, was ‘this close.’ Then I dusted him and I widened the gap. All he does is give me respect. You know why? Because he believes he’s going to get there. He believes he’s going to get there again. That’s the tale of two teammates, one who holds on to his loss to me, because he knows for a fact he’ll never, ever see me again. And one who just hushes in silence in steady works. Kelvin Gastelum. Because he knows he’ll see me again. That’s the two different approaches,” says Adesanya.

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