Paulo “Borrachinha” Costa, 28, of Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil was supposed to challenge reigning UFC Middleweight Champion Israel “The Last Stylebender” Adesanya, 30, of Auckland, New Zealand at “UFC 248.” It would have been the first ever UFC title bout between two undefeated mixed martial artists.
However, Costa had to undergo surgery after an injury so he was replaced by Yoel “Soldier of God” Romero, 42, of Pinar del Rio, Cuba and Miami, Florida, USA. The undefeated Brazilian MMA fighter watched ringside when the Cuban-American challenger lost via unanimous decision to Adesanya in the main event of “UFC 248” at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA on March 7, 2020.
Now that Adesanya is still the UFC Middleweight Champion, Costa is expected to be his next challenger. Here are some important facts about the two undefeated MMA fighters:
Adesanya was born in Lagos, Nigeria on July 22, 1989. His father Femi Adesanya is businessman and accountant while his mother Taiwo Adesanya is a nurse.
Israel and his family moved to Ghana and stayed there for 10 months before relocating to Rotorua, New Zealand in October 2001. In 2010, he started his training at City Kickboxing in Auckland, New Zealand under Eugene Bareman.
As a professional MMA fighter, Israel won his first five bouts in Auckland from 2012 to 2015 and his sixth to ninth bouts in Henan, China in 2016. On February 11, 2018, he made his successful UFC debut by knocking out Rob “Razor” Wilkinson, 28, of Hobart, Tasmania, Australia at “UFC 221” in Perth, Australia.
Romero is the eighth MMA fighter who lost to Israel in the UFC. The first seven were Wilkinson, Marvin “The Italian Dream” Vettori, 27, of Mezzocorona, Trentino, Italy, Brad Tavares, 32, of Kailua, Hawaii, USA, Derek Brunson, 36, of Wilmington, North Carolina, USA, Anderson “Spider” Silva, 45, of Curitiba, Parana, Brazil, Kelvin Gastelum, 28, of Yuma, Arizona, USA and Robert “The Reaper” Whittaker, 29, of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.
Currently, Israel holds a professional MMA record of 19 wins and 0 loss. On the other hand, Costa has 13 wins and 0 loss.
Costa was born in Belo Horizonte on April 21, 1991 to the late Carlos Roberto Costa and Maria Augusta Costa. In 2014, Paulo participated in “The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil 3.”
Paulo has been competing professionally since 2012. He won his first 10 professional MMA bouts in Brazil, which include his first two UFC bouts.
On August 17, 2019, Paulo defeated Romero via unanimous decision at “UFC 241” in Anaheim, California, USA. Before this, the undefeated Brazilian MMA fighter defeated Garreth “Soldier Boy” McLellan, 38, of Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa, Oluwale “The Holy War Angel” Bamgbose, 33, of New York, USA, Johnny “Bigg Rigg” Hendricks, 37, of Ada, Oklahoma, USA, Uriah “Primetime” Hall, 36, of New York.
Give us your thoughts in the comment section below. Meanwhile, here is Costa in the “UFC 248” post-fight press conference: