UFC: UFC 253 Adesanya def Costa (Second round TKO)
Dana White’s fight of the year prediction could not have been further from the truth. Middleweight champion Israel Adesanya made easy work of contender Paulo Costa with a dominant TKO victory in the second round of their championship fight. Costa’s claim to fame has been his relentless aggression and lack of fear, but he seemed to overthink things playing into the hands of Adesanya. Instead of being aggressive, Costa was overly cautious and decided to fight Adesanya, a former kickboxing star, at his own game allowing Adesanya to pick him apart with timely leg kicks and jabs. Costa’s biggest issue in the past has been his gas tank, so it was understandable that he wouldn’t be overly aggressive in order to preserve energy in his first five round fight. But he took that strategy too far, spending more time mocking Adesanya than throwing his powerful overhand right. Still a relatively young fighter, Costa will still be a middleweight contender for years to come. Adesanya is climbing the ranks of all time greats with another dominant performance. He’ll likely face the winner of Robert Whittaker and Jared Cannonier for his next title defense. In all likelihood, the loser of that fight will face Costa with a championship opportunity on the line.