Undefeated Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) middleweight striker, Israel Adesanya, captured the interim 185-pound title with a thrilling unanimous decision win over Kelvin Gastelum in the UFC 236 pay-per-view (PPV) event from Atlanta, Georgia (watch the highlights here).
Safe to say Paulo Costa was not impressed.
The Brazilian took to his social media account in the wake of “The Last Stylebender’s” performance to suggest his reign atop the middleweight division would be short lived. Not only will Adesanya have to get past Robert Whittaker later this year, he’ll also be forced to throw down against “The Eraser.”
“Really this is the interim (fake) champ? Hahah. No doubt this weight division has already been better than this shit,” Costa wrote on Instagram. “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.”
Costa is currently ranked No. 7 at 185 pounds (see the full rankings here) and is expected to tangle with Yoel Romero this summer. “Soldier of God” is widely considered the most violent contender in the division and the Brazilian could certainly make a better case for a title shot by winning that fight.
Then again, we also have to consider what happens in the upcoming UFC on ESPN 3 middleweight main event (details), where longtime contender, Ronaldo Souza, collides with late-replacement Jack Hermansson, a short-notice headliner that was originally booked to feature Costa vs. Romero.
Lots to unpack over the next few months.