UFC fans, Saturday night will feature a title fight in Abu Dhabi between current middleweight champion Israel Adesanya and undefeated contender Paulo Costa. Saturday night will also feature another title fight in the light heavyweight division between Dominick Reyes and Jan Blachowicz. It’s going to be a true treat for MMA fans who will get a double dose of championship level fighting.
In this article, we will focus on the Adesanya vs Costa betting preview. Let’s check out the betting lines on these fighters and compare stats before offering a free pick. Visit our sportsbook to place your bet on this fight and more on our UFC betting lines page.
Israel Adesanya (19-0-0) vs Paulo Costa (13-0-0)
Sept. 26, 2020
Flash Forum Abu Dabhi
Betting Line: Adesanya -175; Costa +145
Adesanya vs Costa Betting Preview
Israel “The Last Stylebender” Adesanya was born in Lagos, Nigeria in 1989 and is one of five children. He’s a renowned mixed martial artist who currently resides in New Zealand. He had a tough upbringing and was often bullied in high school where his interests were focused more around anime than sports or fighting.
After years of being bullied, he must have taken some serious inspiration from the larger than life martial arts cartoons he was obsessed with as a youngster and began training Muy Thai at the age of 18. He quickly began competing and out of nowhere earned a 32-0 record in Ghana where he was training at the time.
When he was 21 years old, he moved to Auckland, New Zealand where he began training under Eugene Bareman at City Kickboxing – a hub for established MMA fighters. This continues to be the gym where he trains.
It was there that he began competing in the Glory World Series as well as King in the Ring, where he won the cruiserweight and heavyweight championships.
Adesanya signed with UFC in December of 2017. From there he began to write UFC history, gaining a reputation as one of the best strikers in the world. He’s currently undefeated and is the middleweight champion.
In April of 2019 during UFC 236, he fought Kelvin Gastelum for the interim UFC Middleweight Championship, which he won via unanimous decision. He earned the Fight of the Night award and it was regarded as the best fight of the year by many fans.
He then faced Robert Whitaker in October of 2019 for a title unification bout, which he also won via knockout in the second round, becoming the undisputed UFC middleweight champion.
Adesanya defended his title for the first time against Yoel Romero just a few months back in March of 2020 during UFC 248. It was a bit of a low-energy fight leaving fans disappointed, but he managed to maintain his belt and undefeated record via unanimous decision.
Defending his Title
He’ll defend his title for the second time in a highly anticipated fight against Paulo Costa, who is also undefeated in UFC and is ranked right behind Adesanya at #2 in the middleweight rankings.
Paulo “The Eraser” Costa
Costa is two years younger than Adesanya, coming into the fight at 29 years old. He grew up fighting in the streets of Brazil and began studying Muy Thai at the tender age of 9 to learn some discipline.
As a teenager, he also studied jiu-jitsu and began competing alongside his brother who is also a mixed martial artist.
Costa began his professional career in Brazil in February of 2012, and went undefeated through eight fights. From there, he was chosen to fight on The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil 3.
It would be some years until he joined UFC. He had his promotional debut in March of 2017 during UFC Fight Night 106 against Garreth McLellan. He won via TKO and has continued to win without a single loss.
Costa also faced Yoel Romero recently and won the fight via unanimous decision. He earned the Fight of the Night award in the process.
Adesanya vs Costa Betting Preview Matchup
Both fighters are extremely similar when you compare them. They fight similarly, with both focusing on striking more than grappling. Adesanya has an important height advantage coming in at 6-foot-4; Costa is 6-0. They weight exactly the same, coming in at around 185 pounds.
Adesanya also has a pretty significant reach advantage with an 80” wingspan while Costa is coming in with a 72” reach.
As far as their basic stats go, Costa lands 8.43 significant strikes per minute while Adesanya averages 3.96 significant strikes per minute – basically half as many. Costa is also a bit more accurate with his significant strike accuracy coming in at 57.82% as compared with 48.74% for Adesanya.
Both fighters are also known for their brutal striking power. Fourteen of Adesanya’s 19 victories have come from KO or TKO. In an impressively similar comparison, Costa has 11 victories from TKO or KO and one submission out of 13 victories.
While Costa is known for delivering brutal flurries of punches, hence the high significant strike rate, Adesanya is known for excellent striking defense. Costa typically takes a lot more damage than Adesanya and he does not have the same level of defense.
Techniques to Take the Win
Overall this is stacking up to be an exciting fight between extremely talented strikers. We will likely see little to no ground action. It’s looking to be more of a slugfest. It will come down to strategy as Adesanya will focus on his reach advantage and impressive cardio in an attempt to wear Costa down. Costa will come out swinging and stands a chance if he can get some major hits in early, but Adesanya will likely look to play the long game and wear his opponent down from a distance.
Adesanya vs Costa Betting Preview Picks
BetUS Free Pick: Israel Adesanya (-175)
Despite this year being filled with major upsets and underdogs coming up with victories in UFC fights, this looks like an uphill battle for Costa. Adesenya has a major height and reach advantage and has used his length to great success in the past.
With such a high significant strike rate per minute, Costa is at risk of running out of gas against Adesanya, who is known for wearing down opponents in long fights. Unless Costa can manage a takedown strike in the first couple of rounds, it will be a difficult fight for him to keep up in the later rounds.
With so much on the line and this only being Adesanya’s second title defense, it’s his to lose at this point.
Keep checking our MMA news page for the latest updates as we get close to another exciting night of UFC.