The Ultimate Fighting Championship returns to Fight Island, where an event kicks off this weekend with UFC 253. The event is considered the largest of the year with a total attendance of more than 1.5 million people and a record attendance.
MMA fans will be delighted to see Israel Adesanya defend his middleweight title against the challenger Paulo Costa. Saturday’s UFC 253 bout also includes a featherweight fight between Hakeem Dawod and Zubaira Tukhugo.
Adesanya VS Costa
A clash of two unbeaten middleweights will dominate the headlines at UFC 253 as champion Israel Adesanya goes head-to-head with Paulo Costa.
Adesanya and Costa are both undefeated in UFC 253, but Costa is known for his knockout power while Adedanya is respected for his fluid fighting style.
On Saturday night, he will headline the UFC253 live from Fight Island in Abu Dhabi and defend his middleweight title against Costa in an event that will be marked by a world title fight.
Adesanya has established himself as one of the most dominant champions in the UFC, beating UFC legends Anderson Silva, Johny Hendricks and Robert Whittaker to win the belt. He beat Yoel Romero in his last fight to secure his first title defense.
While AIS believes this clash between Adesanya and Costa could be one of the best this year, other bets for UFC 253 seem to be heavily tilting towards the champion. This fight will be a toss-up and there is a good chance it will go one way or the other on the scorecard but we predict the reigning champion will retain his belt.
Dawodu vs Tukhugov
Both fighters come into this fight as rising stars in the featherweight division. Nigerian born Dawodo holds a record of 11-1-1 while Russian Zubaira Tukhugov comes into the match 19-4-1.
“Mean” Hakeem Dawodu was born in Calgary, Canada to a 14-year-old Nigerian mother. When Hakeem was six, his father was deported and his mother was forced to raise the young Hakeem on her own. He was classified as a troubled youth and spent his adolescence in and out of Juvinial Detention. When he was 16, one of his councilors recommended him for Muay Thai classes as a way to control his anger. Now, he’s ready to take the stage for his 14th UFC bout.
Dawodu’s has won his last four fights and is on a roll to make it a fifth tonight. Dawdou lost to Danny Henry at UFC Fight Night back in March 2018, who put him in with 39 seconds left, but he made up for it with a win over Austin Arnett, Kyle Bochniak, Yoshinori Horie, and Julio Arce.
The full UFC 253 fight card, including Adesanya v Costa, can be seen on pay-per-view on ESPN. If you plan to sign up for ESPN to watch UFC253, you can take advantage of a special discounted package.