The No. 1 contender for the middleweight crown sat cageside during
the UFC 248 headliner between Israel
Adesanya and Yoel Romero,
and he was none too impressed by what he saw from the reigning
Adesanya retained the 185-pound belt with a five-round verdict over
Romero at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on Saturday night in a
contest that featured little in the way of action. Paulo
Henrique Costa is virtually assured of being next in line to
face Adesanya, and he didn’t have anything flattering to say about
“The Last Stylebender” in the aftermath of the event.
“Horrible fight, Costa said. “I was ashamed to watch that fight.
Adesanya is nothing. Adesanya is the most shameful champion I have
seen ever. He just run. He’s nothing. He’s nothing. He’s scared. I
think he doesn’t deserve to talk about him. But it was s–t, that
fight was s–t.
“I will make him cry. I will hit him very badly. And he will cry
like a baby. I will slap his face in my fight against him
because—That’s it, he’s shameful.”
Costa defeated Romero at UFC 241 but was unable to take the title
fight immediately after suffering a torn bicep in training. As a
result, Adesanya asked for a chance to face Romero, who despite a
recent string of losses was regarded as one of the most feared
fighters in the division.
“The Soldier of God” didn’t attempt to engage with Adesanya often,
but Costa didn’t blame his former foe for his approach. Instead,
“Borrachinha” directed his criticism toward the champion. The
Brazilian believes Adesanya will always struggle against bigger,
“I don’t blame Romero,” Costa said. “Romero’s the same against
everybody. He never put 100 percent of pressure. He’s a little bit
lazy and sometimes he explodes.
“The fact is Adesanya cannot hang with him. Adesanya cannot hang
against powerful guys like Romero, like Jon Jones, or
me. That’s why he’s afraid. That’s why he avoids some fights, like
against me, like against Jon Jones. He
avoids these kinds of fights.”
While nothing is set in stone, it appears that International Fight
Week in July has been targeted for the Adesanya-Costa bout, and
both men seem to be agreeable toward that date.