WATCH: Israel Adesanya Unleashes Striking Clinic in Brutal KO Win

There are levels to this sport. For the first time in UFC middleweight history, two unbeaten fighters competed for the title. On one side was the awesome Paulo Costa. The Brazilian contender has ferocious power and violently swarms his opponents. Then you have the ruthless technician, Israel Adesanya.

Many people expected Costa to become the man who silences Adesanya. Costa’s imposing frame and relentless style led them to believe that he would outmuscle the champion. The two men went back and forth before this fight with genuine bad blood emerging between them.

However, in the end, ‘The Last Stylebender’ was just too classy for Costa. Adesanya successfully defended his title for the second time with a clinical TKO victory. Of all his wins in the UFC, this was probably his most impressive. In sum, Costa had nothing to threaten the champion.

Slow Start

There was an extremely cagey start to this one. Costa’s coaches obviously told him to pace himself ahead of a five-rounder and he didn’t bring the aggression that we typically associate with him. Adesanya unleashed leg kick after leg kick. His lean build was in stark contrast to Costa’s trunk-like frame.

Meanwhile, Costa showboated and tried to act like none of the shots affected him. He also pointed for Adesanya to stand and box with him. However, the champion demonstrated his resolve and focus by totally ignoring this and continued to rain down on the Brazilian’s legs. It was an effective round by the champion.


Costa tried to bring more offence in the second round as he landed a couple of leg kicks. However, Adesanya had already taken his toll and slowed the Brazilian down. Then ‘Izzy’ stepped up his own attack as he landed some slick counters. He smashed Costa with a head shot, stunning the Brazilian and opening up a cut on the challenger’s forehead.

Then he proceeded to unleash ground-and-pound until referee Jason Herzog stopped the fight. It was a brilliant display of efficiency. You could see the moment in Adesanya’s eyes where he knew that he was better than Costa. Can anybody in this division beat the Nigerian-born New Zealand resident?

Talking Points

This was a crushing loss for Costa who will have to go on another tear to get another title shot. He may end up fighting the winner of Darren Till v Jack Hermansson. It was also very much at odds with what we expect from the Brazilian. He was nowhere near his usual marauding self.

Meanwhile, Adesanya called out Jared Cannonier after the fight. He says that if the American gets past Robert Whittaker the fight is his. Furthermore, he also showed rare respect to one of the fellow fighters in his division. This came after he appeared to air hump Costa’s back. He also told Costa coach that he would ‘cum’ on his face.

Another talking point was Adesanya’s visibly inflamed nipple. Many people online were curious about this and alleged that it possibly indicated steroid abuse. Of course, these arguments are totally unfounded but it will definitely be interesting to discover the source of this problem.

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