Israel Adesanya defends his middleweight title against Paulo Costa

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Israel Adesanya expertly picked apart Paulo Costa to retain his middleweight title and extend his perfect professional record to 20-0 at UFC 253 in Abu Dhabi.

The event marked a return to 'UFC Fight Island' and Adesanya made a second successful defence of his crown by finishing the previously undefeated Brazilian via a second-round TKO.


Yas Island has been transformed into an isolation bubble for fighters, teams and media for a five-event run, and the first show of the promotion's second stint also saw a new champion crowned in the co-main event as Poland's Jan Blachowicz won the vacant light heavyweight title.


In the main event, Adesanya, 31, focused much of his attack on Costa's lead leg in the first round, connecting with 15 leg kicks inside the opening five minutes, while the Brazilian was more patient than some expected.


However, the fighters continuously exchanged comments as they attempted to goad each other into an early mistake.



Adesanya's leg attack continued through round two as the Nigerian-born New Zealander masterfully controlled the range and picked off Costa, 29, almost at will, with the Brazilian struggling to land anything of substance.




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