Israel Adesanya defends UFC Middleweight Championship with TKO victory over Paulo Costa

The 31-year-old Nigerian star picked up his 20th victory in mixed martial arts

Israel Adesanya defeated Paulo Costa to retain the UFC Middleweight Title via a second-round TKO.

Adesanya was able to connect on multiple leg kicks through the first two rounds. He landed multiple head hicks and was able to get Costa onto the mat and strike his head before the referee intervened and stopped the fight.

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The 31-year-old Nigerian star picked up his 20th victory in mixed martial arts. He has yet to lose.

Adesanya’s fight against Costa -- held on Fight Island in Abu Dhabi -- was his second in 2020. He defeated Yoel Romero via unanimous decision on March 7 in Las Vegas to defend his middleweight title.

He won the interim UFC Middleweight Championship at UFC 236 against Kelvin Gastelum in Atlanta via unanimous decision. He then won and unified the title with his victory over Robert Whittaker in Melbourne via knockout.

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Along with wins over Costa, Romero, Gastelum and Whittaker, Adesanya also defeated UFC legend Anderson Silva at UFC 234. He has come on strong at the UFC since making his debut at UFC 221.

Costa came into the fight undefeated as well. He made himself one of the biggest middleweight contenders after wins over Yoel Romero, Uriah Hall and Johny Hendricks. He was 13-0 overall coming into the fight against Adesanya.

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The next contender for the title is unclear. Whittaker and Costa were among the top contenders for the title. Jared Cannonier and Jack Hermansson are also potential contenders for Adesanya’s belt.