'What? The skinny guy beat the muscly guy?' Israel Adesanya says his KO of Paulo Costa at UFC 253 will blow casual fans' minds
Israel Adesanya doesn't think his fight with Paulo Costa is the biggest middleweight fight of all time, but he's still determined to make a statement by finishing the undefeated hulk from Brazil at UFC 253.
Chatting to reporters at the UFC 253 media day in Abu Dhabi, Adesanya described his upcoming middleweight title defense against Costa as "just another fight" and said that the Brazilian's undefeated record doesn't impress him.
"His resume doesn't hold up enough," he explained.
"You look at the guys he's beat. He beat an over-the-hill Johny Hendricks, no offense. He beat Uriah Hall, who was doing quite well in that fight, one of his better performances. But Uriah Hall succumbed to his will, because Uriah Hall sometimes breaks mentally. And he beat Yoel Romero, who is on the way out, anyway.
"I don't think it's going to be the greatest middleweight fight in history. I kinda already did that with Kelvin Gastelum, so I have that in my back resume."
Adesanya also recounted his impromptu meeting with Costa at the fighter hotel, which was captured on camera and shared on social media.
"I went there, sized him up, patted him on the shoulder to feel how dense he is. I shook his hand because I wanted to feel the kind of pressure he put on, from a guy who said 'I won't shake his hand when I beat him.'
"He's just like one of those dogs that just barks behind the fence, but when the fence opens up he just comes around and like, real timid... It just confirmed that I knew that they were gonna submit to me, so yeah, he didn't check out when I checked him."
The MMA world is excited about the matchup, but Adesanya said he didn't think the fight would prove to be as competitive as some have predicted, with the Kiwi world champion saying that he doesn't think Costa will be able to go deep into the fight and still be able to take his strikes.
"People say it's the fight of the year, like Dana White said. But that's only if he's tough enough to actually take a beating from me for five rounds. But I just don't think his gas tank is gonna hold up," he said.
"For my legacy, it's just the look of it. People are still fooled by muscles and big juiceheads and think, 'Ah! That's what a fighter looks like!' Especially the casuals. They're the ones who pay your bills. The ones who really go buy this sh*t.
"Once they see this skinny clown, supposedly, beat this muscly buffoon and they're like, 'What? The skinny guy beat the muscly guy? How'd he do that?' It's gonna blow their minds, especially in the fashion that I'm gonna do it."Also on rt.com 'P*ssy African!' Paulo Costa steps up ugly war of words with UFC middleweight champ Adesanya