UFC president Dana White blasts Paulo Costa for display in UFC 253 demolition by Israel Adesanya


‘So much for Fight of the Year… it was Domination of the Year!’: UFC president Dana White blasts Paulo Costa for ‘weird’ performance in demolition by Israel Adesanya

  • Paulo Costa was picked apart by Israel Adesanya in UFC 253 showpiece event 
  • Brazilian hardly landed a shot and suffered second-round TKO by champion 
  • Dana White was baffled by Costa’s performance and thought it was ‘weird’ 
  • He said: ‘So much for ‘Fight of the Year’ – it was ‘Domination of the Year”

UFC president Dana White was baffled by Paulo Costa’s against Israel Adesanya at UFC 253, branding it ‘Domination of the Year’. 

The powerful Brazilian challenger was only a narrow underdog with the bookies but hardly landed a strike as the champion picked him apart, finishing the fight with a second-round TKO. 

Adesanya looked sensational and delivered one of his best performances but Costa appeared lost and was made to look amateurish. 

Paulo Costa was torn apart by Israel Adesanya

Dana White was not happy with Costa's display

Paulo Costa (left) was dominated at UFC 253 and Dana White (right) was underwhelmed

Israel Adesanya picked his challenger apart and the Brazilian hardly landed a shot

Israel Adesanya picked his challenger apart and the Brazilian hardly landed a shot 

White had anticipated a far closer, more competitive encounter for the middleweight title and did not hold back in his criticism. 

He said: ‘So much for ‘Fight of the Year’ – it was ‘Domination of the Year’.

‘It was weird because if you look at every other fight that Costa has had, he comes out and goes after people like they owe him money.

‘I think he landed one jab in this fight. He didn’t try to clinch on the fence, didn’t try to put pressure, kept going back to the centre of the octagon. It was very weird.

Costa suffered a second-round TKO defeat by the dominant middleweight champion

Costa suffered a second-round TKO defeat by the dominant middleweight champion 

The UFC boss believed Costa, who was previously unbeaten as a professional, would rely on his power and output but the 29-year-old appeared reluctant to pull the trigger.  

‘If he fought the way he fights – I mean look at the way he fought Yoel Romero, one of the most dangerous guys ever… and then he stays on the outside, taking damage to that front leg (against Adesanya),” White added. 

‘Then when he does rush in and get him up against the cage, he backs out to the centre of the cage again. 

‘(He) never tried to get in the clinch. I think he only landed one jab (and) didn’t really thrown any punches when (Adesanya) threw kicks. It was very weird. 

Adesanya landed some punishing blows to the calf and body before finding a finish

Adesanya landed some punishing blows to the calf and body before finding a finish 

‘I just sat there going, ‘Holy (explicit).’ Obviously Adesanya went to work, pieced him piece by piece, made it look really easy. 

Despite the underwhelming performance from Costa, White was also keen to give Adesanya credit for a masterclass in striking. 

‘No matter what, it was Adesnaya put on a clinic,’ he said. 

‘The first three calf kicks busted up his leg and got him right in the side of the knee. (He) had a huge welt on the side of the knee, and then the shin to the eye and just absolutely dismantled him. (He) easily won the fight.’


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