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Israel Adesanya Warns Khamzat Chimaev Against Underestimating Paulo Costa 

10 months ago By Sports Desk

Israel Adesanya recently weighed in on the highly anticipated Paulo Costa vs. Khamzat Chimaev matchup. While the Nigerian-born Kiwi recognized Chimaev’s grappling prowess, he urged ‘Borz’ not to underestimate Costa. 

‘The Last Stylebender’ is undoubtedly among the most dominant champions the UFC has ever seen. Adesanya is a two-time middleweight champion and has built himself one of the most impressive resumes in divisional history. 

After beating Robert Whittaker in a title unification bout at UFC 243 in October 2019, Israel Adesanya held on to the 185-pound strap for over three years, losing it to Alex Pereira at UFC 281 in November 2022. Nevertheless, Adesanya reclaimed his title at UFC 287 with a stunning second-round KO over ‘Poatan’ in their rematch in April 2023. 

Over the course of his UFC career, Israel Adesanya has functionally cleared the middleweight division. He’s beaten world-class opponents like Robert Whittaker, Yoel Romero, Jared Cannonier and avenged his sole 185-pound loss to Alex Pereira. Now ‘The Last Stylebender’ is looking for a new challenge and has his eyes on Khamzat Chimaev. 

‘Borz’ is set to face Paulo Costa in the co-main event of UFC 294 on October 21. Considering Adesanya’s long-running rivalry with ‘Borrachinha,’ it’s unsurprising that the middleweight king is hoping to see Chimaev emerge victorious. Adesanya previously beat Costa at UFC 253 in September 2020. 

In a recent interview with MMA Fighting, Israel Adesanya shared some pearls of wisdom with Khamzat Chimaev. He urged the Chechen-born Swede not to look past the Brazilian and claimed he’s betting on Chimaev to win. He said:

“I might be favoring Khamzat a little bit more because I like new blood… I just made Paulo look easy, but trust me, he’s a hard fight.”

Meanwhile, Israel Adesanya is booked to fight Sean Strickland at UFC 293 this weekend in Sydney. If ‘Borz’ can get past Paulo Costa, an immediate middleweight title shot against Adesanya is undoubtedly on the cards for Khamzat Chimaev. 

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