Paulo Costa’s Manager Says Israel Adesanya Has Turned Down Two Title Defenses

Paulo Costa is expected to be the next fighter to challenge UFC Middleweight Champion Israel Adesanya for the gold.

It may be awhile before that title bout comes together, as Wallid Ismail, who is Costa’s manager, says that Adesanya has already turned down two opportunities for a fight against Costa.

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“His coach lied (about Adesanya not being offered a bout against Costa),” Ismail told MMA Fighting. “He has to understand that when he says something in Australia we can see it right away in Brazil through the internet. He can’t lie. There was an offer for July 11, and then they said August, and now they are talking September or October. Adesanya can’t choose opponents, this is not a f***ing video game. If he wants to choose opponents, just buy the UFC game. This is MMA and you have to put the No. 1 contender against the champion. The point is, this champion had a disaster of a performance last time he fought, so ‘Borrachinha’ is coming to save this pay-per-view.”

Adesanya last defended the middleweight title in the main event of UFC 248, defeating Yoel Romero by unanimous decision.

Ismail also has a request for Adesanya, which is for the champion to not run away from a title defense against Costa.

“Don’t run away from this fight please,” Ismail said. “His coach is trying to act like a manager now and that’s how careers end. We’re hoping to have a date some time this year, and I just hope they stop crying. Adesanya is crying. He can’t say anything online until he actually signs the deal. If you’re offered a fight and don’t take it, you can’t say anything.”

Costa, who sits at #2 in the UFC Middleweight Division rankings, has fully recovered from a biceps surgery that kept the fighter out of action for nearly a year now.

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