UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya said that he will come out on top when the he meets fellow undefeated standout Paulo Costa next month as the two clashed in a heated television interview ahead of the UFC 253 main event.
The two middleweight rivals have built a simmering rivalry for much of the past year, with Brazilian standout Costa stating that he will be the man to hand the flashy champion his first defeat in mixed martial arts – a claim rubbished by Adesanya in the expletive-ridden interview with ESPN.
READ MORE: ‘I’m p*ssed off!’ UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya delivers IMPASSIONED SPEECH at Black Lives Matter rally (VIDEO)
“I don’t like these kinds of [trash-talkers] and I believe the fans [don’t] also,” said Costa, in objection to Adesanya’s now-trademark arrogance.
“This sport doesn’t need this kind of attitude. You don’t need this to sell a good fight. You just need to go and make a good fight.”
Costa continued, reserving harsh words for Adesanya’s title defense against Yoel Romero in a tedious fight panned by critics.
Costa also holds a victory over Cuban veteran Romero, a fight that was hailed as among the most exciting of 2019.
“He’s dumb and he walks forward and he throws shots,” New Zealand’s Adesanya shot back at his rival.
“That’s what makes it really exciting and that’s what I’m looking forward to.
“I’m looking forward to a big, inflated ignoramus running up on me, trying to throw shots as I keep moving and sticking him.”
The war of words between the two fighters dates back to verbal salvos on social media two years ago. The rivalry almost came to a head following Adesanya’s win over Romero, as Costa attempted to jump the cage before being restrained by security.
But there won’t be security guards to prevent the pair from clashing this time around.
“I will face you very, very soon, and I will have an opportunity to show you what I tried to show on that moment,” Costa warned.
This was music to the ears of the champion.
“When someone brings the fight, I f*cking fight,” Adesanya shot back.
“You say you’re gonna bring the fight, right? Bring that sh*t.
“Yes [Costa is] dumb, but that’s what makes him dangerous as well, because he’s not scared to walk forward and throw, and he’s strong.
“But the same thing happens when they step in the cage with me, when they see me and feel me, they say, ‘Oh my God, he’s a lot stronger than I thought. Oh my God, he’s a lot bigger than I thought.’ It’s nothing different.”