Israel Adesanya refusing to change style for UFC 253 showdown with Paulo Costa

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Israel Adesanya insists he doesn’t feel under any pressure to put on a spectacular performance against Paulo Costa.

The Nigerian-born Kiwi will defend his middleweight crown against the undefeated Costa a week on Sunday in the main event of UFC 253 in Abu Dhabi.

Adesanya, 31, enters his eagerly-anticipated clash with the Brazilian on the back of an uninspiring decision victory over Yoel Romero in March.

'The Last Stylebender' was fiercely criticised for his performance in his maiden title defence but is adamant he isn't concerned about erasing the memory of his last outing.

"I just worry about expressing myself and having fun,” Adesanya said. “Winning just comes with that, to be honest. I don’t really worry about that.

"I definitely want to win, don’t get me wrong, I love winning. But it doesn’t take up most of my thoughts in my time. I think about expressing myself.

“‘And when I do that, when I’m having fun, I’m the best in the world. So that’s what I’m really focusing on.”

City Kickboxing’s Adesanya believes critics of his display against Romero were quick to forget about his spectacular run to the 185lb title.

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He said: “I feel like Roy Jones Jr when he said, ‘Y’all must’ve forgot.’ And this is only after one fight that didn’t live up to what I expected it to be."

The hard-hitting Costa – who has won all but one of the 13 professional fights via stoppage – will provide Adesanya with one of the toughest tests of his career.

Adesanya disagrees with the notion of Costa being a stern challenge and firmly believes 'The Eraser' is tailor-made for his style.

"He’s too dumb," he said. "He’s perfect for me. He’s going to come forward swinging like a buffoon and I’m going to clown him.

He added: "What’s going to be his downfall is his lacklusterness when it comes to me.

"He thinks he's going to walk through whatever I throw at him. Alright, I welcome him to try."

  • Conor Mcgregor
  • Dana White
  • UFC

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