The Ultimate Fighting Championship is back in Vegas for one of the most highly anticipated pay-per-view contests this year. UFC Odds are now available, read on for our complete betting guide taking the first look at Israel Adesanya versus Paulo Costa for the UFC middleweight title, including updated odds and our free expert betting predictions.
Israel Adesanya vs. Paulo Costa
UFC Middleweight Championship Bout
Saturday, September 26, 2020 – 11:00 PM EDT live from the UFC Apex Center in Las Vegas, Live on ESPN+
Israel Adesanya (19-0-0)
The reigning, defending, undefeated UFC middleweight champion of the world Israel Adesanya returns to our screens to protect his gold this coming weekend. And to no surprise, the champ wastes no time in returning to action; after his first title defense against Yoel Romero back in March 2020, 'Stylebender' defends his coveted championship for the second time this year continuing his very-active fight schedule.
Within his first year at the company, Israel had already defeated five middleweights, including a fight versus the UFC legend Anderson Silva. Now the champion, there's no easy way out when every fight he has will be at the highest level of mixed martial arts.
The quickest rise to stardom in UFC history, Israel secured UFC gold within one-year,three-months of making his promotional debut. Impressive accolades achieved within a short period.
The Nigerian born-New Zealand native has competed in multiple martial art disciplines (boxing 5-1, kick-boxing 75-5 and mixed martial arts 19-0) giving him a combined combat record of 99-6. To say Israel is a decorated martial artist is an understatement, but does he have the skills to put the undefeated record of Paulo Costa on hold?
Paulo Costa (13-0-0)
An Ultimate Fighter Brazil alumni and just like his opponent Paulo Costa is an undefeated UFC new-breed. The only significant difference between the two fighters UFC careers would be in-octagon activity.
Born and raised in Brazil, Costa began his mixed martial arts journey in a Jiu-Jitsu gym and funnily enough we're still to witness a takedown or submission attempt from Costa in a UFC bout – why? Because the man is a scary presence inside the striking distance.
The implications of this fight are of the utmost importance, two undefeated streaks and one man will leave with an 0 and the UFC middleweight championship.
UFC 253: Israel Adesanya vs. Paulo Costa Early Prediction
How Can Costa Win?
Simply put, brute force and strength are going to give Costa advantages in certain areas of the fight. As mentioned prior, we're still yet to see a takedown or submission attempt from the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt - this could be an exciting route for Costa if he were to fail in his striking offense.
A knockout seems the most viable route for Costa. Still, with the dangerous counter-striking of his opponent, perhaps we can finally witness the ground skills of Paulo Henrique' The Eraser' Costa.
How Can Adesanya Win?
The physical appearance of Paulo Costa is undoubtedly intimidating, but the sleek striking and extended range of Israel should cause more problems across the twenty-five-minute time-limit.
Weather the storm! I don't see the muscle-mass of Costa standing the test of time in a five-round title fight; I expect Israel to pace himself while looking for the counter knockout punch. And if the KO blow doesn't surface, then it's the champs fight to lose.
Who Will Win?
The elite striking of Israel is far superior to his opponent, but the power advantage is on the opposite side. If Costa doesn't creep inside the distance of Israel and finish him early, I envision a dominant striking battle from the champion.
Adesanya vs. Costa Betting Odds Advice
The risk of betting either side does come with value, the odds for the champion as a rightful favorite at -160 seem fair and valuable. At the same time, the +145 back on Costa is an excellent underdog price for an undefeated fighter.
With everything taken into consideration, the power and killer instinct of Costa is a force to reckon with. I do think Adesanya can be successful, but the price that stands out to me is the over two and a half rounds.
UFC 253 Betting Prediction: Over 2.5 rounds at (-115) with BookMaker