UFC 253

UFC 253: Israel Adesanya dismantles Paulo Costa

'The Last Stylebender' reigns supreme

Middleweight champion Israel Adesanya (20-0-0) turned in a dominant performance at UFC 253 Saturday night at Fight Island, with a second round TKO victory over Paulo Costa.

Adesanya used leg kicks to take the starch out of Costa in the first round, while ignoring the early taunting tactics.

In the second round, a visibly slowed Costa tried to put on a brave front but got caught with a head kick and then a left hand that grounded him. Hammerfists and elbows forced referee Jason Herzog to call the bout at 3:59.

With the win, Adesanya remained undefeated and in the post-fight press conference stated he would like to fight Jared Cannonier next provided he gets past Robert Whittaker.

Adesanya and Jan Blachowicz earned performances of the night, while Kai Kara-France and Brandon Royval earned Fight of the Night. Each fighter earned a $50,000 USD performance.

Kenai Andrews checks in with his thoughts on the card.

KHADIS IBRAGIMOV VS. DANILO MARQUES

WINNER: DANILO MARQUES VIA UD (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)

ANDREWS PREDICTION: DANILO MARQUES VIA TKO

Andrews: Not a barnburner to start off the card, but what was up with the ref not taking a point away from Ibragimov for grabbing the cage multiple times?

JUAN ESPINO VS. JEFF HUGHES

WINNER: JUAN ESPINO VIA SUBMISSION (ARM-TRIANGLE) R1 3:48

ANDREWS PREDICTION: JUAN ESPINO VIA SUBMISSION

Andrews: Espino did as expected. Good win.

WILLIAM KNIGHT VS. ALESKA CAMUR

WINNER: WILLIAM KNIGHT VIA UD (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)

ANDREWS PREDICTIONS: WILLIAM KNIGHT VIA TKO

Andrews: Knight didn’t get the finish, but he was dominant.

SHANE YOUNG VS. LUDOVIT KLEIN

WINNER: LUDOVIT KLEIN VIA TKO (STRIKES) R1 1:16

ANDREWS PREDICTION: SHANE YOUNG VIA UD

Andrews: Wow! Ludovit Klein is for real.

DIEGO SANCHEZ VS. JAKE MATTHEWS 

WINNER: JAKE MATTHEWS VIA UD (30-26, 30-26, 30-26)

ANDREWS PREDICTION: JAKE MATTHEWS VIA UD

Andrews: It’s time for Sanchez to hang ’em up.

BRAD RIDDELL VS. ALEX DA SILVA 

WINNER: BRAD RIDDELL VIA UD (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

ANDREWS PREDICTION: ALEX DA SILVA VIA UD 

Andrews: Riddell outworked Silva and no eyepoke.

MAIN CARD

HAKEEM DAWODU VS. ZUBAIRA TUKHUGOV 

WINNER: HAKEEM DAWODU VIA SD (28-29, 30-27, 29-28)

ANDREWS PREDICTION: ZUBAIRA TUKHUGOV VIA UD

Andrews: Some wild scores but give credit to Hakeem for finishing strong and stealing the win.

#7 KETLEN VIERA VS. #15 SIJARA EUBANKS 

https://twitter.com/ufc/status/1310055901999628293?s=20

WINNER: KETLEN VIERA VIA UD (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

ANDREWS PREDICTION: KETLEN VIERA VIA UD

Andrews: Viera’s experience paid off. Good win.

#7 KAI KARA-FRANCE VS. BRANDON ROYVAL 

WINNER: BRANDON ROYVAL VIA SUBMISSION (GUILLOTINE CHOKE) R2 0:48

ANDREWS PREDICTION: BRANDON ROYVAL VIA SUBMISSION

Andrews: Brandon grabbed the neck and seized the moment.

#1 DOMINIC REYES VS. #3 JAN BLACHOWICZ 

WINNER: JAN BLACHOWICZ VIA TKO (STRIKES) R2 4:36

ANDREWS PREDICTION: DOMINIC REYES VIA UD

Andrews: Wow! The power was too much for Reyes. Good win for Jan, he has come a long way.

MAIN EVENT

ISRAEL ADESANYA VS. PAULO COSTA 

WINNER: ISRAEL ADESANYA VIA TKO (STRIKES) R2 3:59

ANDREWS PREDICTION: ISREAL ADESANYA VIA UD

Andrews: I thought Costa would have lasted longer and pressure more to get the fight to the ground. Good win for Stylebender.

@kenaiandrews UFC 253: Israel Adesanya dismantles Paulo Costa

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Kenai is a former Postmedia Network online news and sports editor. He is the Editor-in-Chief for MMA Crossfire.

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