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After filming the first face-to-face meeting between Israel Adesanya and Paulo Costa last week at the fighter hotel in Abu Dhabi and claiming that the reigning middleweight champion was clearly frightened, Wallid Ismael praised “The Last Stylebender” for his UFC 253 victory in an interview with Globo reporter Evelyn Rodrigues.
Adesanya dominated Costa en route to a second-round technical knockout in the UFC 253 headliner on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi this past Saturday.
"We have no excuses to give. That was Adesanya's night,” said Ismael, who is Costa’s manager. “Paulo was waiting to speed up after the third round but Adesanya´s calf kicks affected him. There are no excuses, or complaints. [Costa] remains among the two best in the middleweight rankings. He is still at the top. Now is time to recover the body and return to training, that´s the warrior´s life."
The Jungle fight promoter also guaranteed that Costa will follow in the footsteps of another client, UFC flyweight champion Deiveson Figueiredo, who bounced back from his first career defeat against Jussier Formiga in 2019 to capture the 125-pound belt earlier this year.
"Deiveson also lost one fight and returned stronger and, after two wins, he conquered the belt,” Ismael said. “As I always say, everything that happened to a strong warrior will make him stronger. I have lived the sport for more than 40 years. I made Vale Tudo return to Rio de Janeiro in the 90´s when I challenged Luta-Livre people in 1991. I promoted more than 100 editions of Jungle Fight.
“I know how to recognize a champion and you can take note: Costa will get the middleweight belt, and Deiveson will knock out Cody ‘No Chin’ Garbrandt on Nov. 21.”