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UFC 253: Adesanya vs. Costa - Main Fight Preview

Israel Adesanya (19-0 in MMA, 9-0 in the UFC) arrived at the UFC making an impact in a short time. He became a linear middleweight champion in less than 20 months after debuting in the organization. The Nigerian living in New Zealand, in addition to being technically great, has a fighting style that is attractive to fans and a striking personality. Thus, it accelerated its development process in the octagon.

A precise changer that uses feints with mastery little seen in MMA, Adesanya uses height and wingspan to control the distance of the opponents and vary the region of the strikes. To contain opponents, who normally try to pressure you to lose their effectiveness, you use intelligent movement and very sharp reflexes. The defense of falls is of excellent level because it incorporates constant movement. This means that he has seen little of his defensive grappling so far - which should remain a reality for the next duel.

Paulo Borrachinha (13-0 in MMA, 5-0 in the UFC) is another fast-rising fighter in the UFC rankings. The former champion of Jungle Fight had great physical, technical and mental evolution since his stint at TUF Brasil, in which he was eliminated by Marcio Lyoto.

Before a fighter with little movement, quite raw in the exchange of blows and who also sought to fight on the ground with greater constancy, Borrachinha started to put pressure on his opponents and to use the great power in his fists to completely change the level. Due to the ability to increase the offensive arsenal and change the way of facing the fights, the Brazilian seems to have a good team around him and listen a lot to the coaches.

Since arriving in the UFC, he has shown physical resistance to withstand opponents' attacks even with a pitted defense. So it starts upwards like a trailer without a brake. The question now is whether he will be able to take the next step to become a category champion. For that, you will need to adjust to the difficulties that will be presented by the confrontation of styles.
The dispute of the middleweight title between the two undefeated has everything to be one of the best fights of the year. Although the champion's last fight is not worthy of praise and many fans compare Borrachinha to Yoel Romero, the brutal physical strength seems to be the only similarity.

Adesanya is a fighter who improves throughout the fighting and adapts his offensive phase to the type of initiatives taken by his opponents. Against Romero, who little attacks and still less uses previously established standards, Adesanya suffered to understand his opponent. Concerned with very hard counterattacks by the bull he faced, he ended up, consequently, mirroring the few actions that made the combat very monotonous.

However, there is no doubt that the scenario will be different against Borrachinha. The Brazilian is a very aggressive fighter who does not skimp on movement to cut the cage in search of opponents. The blows to the body, a tool increasingly incorporated into the game of Borrachinha, can be of vital importance for the challenger to reduce the power of movement that will be essential to Adesanya in combat.

With more skill in exchanging blows and excellent wingspan, in addition to discipline and athletic ability to take the fight for five rounds, if necessary, Adesanya is the favorite for the dispute. However, Borrachinha has enough blows and power to make the champion very uncomfortable. Any mistake in moving or calculating distance can be fatal. The Brazilian will need to demonstrate a considerable defensive evolution to increase his chances in the dispute. This impression comes from the fact that he suffered against a much lesser opponent than Saturday when he faced the unstable Uriah Hall. On that occasion, he received a jab clinic in the first round, a scenario that should be repeated if he has not made any adjustments.

Adesanya suffered for a few moments against Gastelum when pressed, but this one with much faster hands than the next challenger. Against Marvin Vettori he was also uncomfortable at times when he was cornered in the octagon. However, this was a phase quite different from the current one and still inexperienced in the sport. However, when pressed against Robert Whittaker, he found his rival's chin several times, masterfully controlling the distance, even though the former champion was overexposed at the time.

Waiting for a duel full of actions, the bet is that Borrachinha starts the duel at high speed to drown out Adesanya. For that, he will end sequences with punches and kicks in the body. However, the tendency is for the champion to be able to control the pace of the fight and the distance at which it will be played. That way, you will be able to wear out your rival to seek a victory by decision or even an interruption in the fifth round.