Israel Adesanya continues to defy the critics on his march to the undisputed UFC middleweight title after his brutal five-round war against Kelvin Gastelum at UFC 236, but there’s at least one fellow middleweight who isn’t sold quite yet.
Adesanya survived an early onslaught from Gastelum in their interim title fight before “The Last Stylebender” eventually found his rhythm and started landing combinations to edge out a unanimous decision victory in possibly the best fight of 2019 so far. With the win, Adesanya set up a historical clash Down Under against the current champion Robert Whittaker later this year, the first UFC title fight between two Oceanic fighters.
Undefeated Brazilian middleweight contender Paulo Costa, who has a rumored fight against former title contender Yoel Romero on the horizon, took to his Instagram account to mock Adesanya’s “fake belt.”
https://www.instagram.com/borrachinhamma/?utm_source=ig_embed “Really this is the interim (fake) champ? Hahaha. No doubt this weight division has already been better than this sh*t. Enjoy this while you can man, I really hope that you take the real belt one day to meet me. Note: And I’m not Gastelum.”
Whittaker, a New Zealand-born Austalian and the Nigerian-born New Zealander Adesanya are set to fight in Australia later in the year to unify the belts in front of what will likely be a record crowd.