Paulo Costa bickers with Israel Adesanya over grappling credentials: “You never put a gi on your skinny body’

    Israel Adesanya vs. Paulo Costa has been billed a striker’s delight, but should the fight end up going to the ground, both men are eager to show their stuff.

    At least that’s the case if their back-and-forth chatter at Thursday’s UFC 253 pre-fight press conference is any indication. Adesanya defends his middleweight title against Costa in Saturday’s main event and while both are known for their stunning knockouts and standup games, it became personal when the topic of grappling was raised.

    “Before I become a striker I was a grappler,” Costa said. “I’m a black belt in jiu-jitsu, my brother’s gym, my coach. I have a lot of knowledge on BJJ. Yes, this fight can be on the ground also.”

    Adesanya interjected, criticizing Costa for a loss that he had competing in an exhibition bout on The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil 3 six years ago. “Borrachinha” bowed out of the reality show’s middleweight tournament after dropping a split decision to Marcio Alexandre Jr. in the quarter-finals.

    “You sucked as grappler,” Adesanya said. “Whenever he shoots, he loses his gas tank within the first or second shot.”

    “You never saw my grappling,” Costa replied.

    “No one needs to see your grappling because you suck,” Adesanya continued. “You were on TUF on the floor saying, ‘No, I gave my all. I give 100 percent.’ You can’t grapple for sh*t.”

    In 33 combined pro bouts between Adesanya and Costa—all wins—there is only one submission to be found, with Costa scoring a rear-naked choke submission win over Eduardo Ramon at a Jungle Fight show in May 2016. Nevertheless, the headliners continued to bicker over who could make the other tap.

    When Costa questioned Adesanya’s fundamentals, “The Last Stylebender” threatened to submit Costa with a variety of exotic holds.

    “Bullsh*t,” Costa said. “You’re a blue belt in jiu-jitsu. You cannot say nothing about jiu-jitsu. You’re like a kid in in jiu-jitsu. You don’t know how to do an armlock.”

    “I’ll berimbolo you if I wanted to,” Adesanya said. “I’ll grab your f*cking collar right now and put you in a bow-and-arrow.”

    “You never put a gi on your skinny body,” Costa said. “Talk about jiu-jitsu with me. You’re crazy.”

    Adesanya closed out the exchange, joking “I take acai too.”

    This article was originally published on

    Related articles

    Sorry, there are no polls available at the moment.

    Latest articles

    Daniel Dubois and Joe Joyce trade words ahead of their November 28 heavyweight showdown

    Daniel Dubois and Joe Joyce joined The BT Sport Boxing Show to discuss their upcoming fight, with Ben Davison also on hand to explain what tactical areas he sees as being key to winning this heavyweight bout.Dubois and Joyce talk through their sparring and their opening press conference push, before finishing with some verbal jibes towards each other.Subscribe to BT Sport Boxing on YouTube ➡️ BT Sport Boxing on Twitter ➡️ Join our BT Sport Boxing Facebook Group ➡️ Follow us on Instagram ➡️ Read more on upcoming fights on BT Sport and BT Sport Box Office ➡️

    The A-Side Live Chat: Khabib vs. Gaethje, UFC 254, UFC Fight Island 6, more

    This is The A-Side Live Chat. For this episode, José Youngs, Alex Savas and E. Casey Leydon break down some of the top storylines...

    Morning Report: Dana White says UFC 254 is ‘trending to be the biggest fight we’ve ever had’

    On Saturday afternoon, Khabib Nurmagomedov will defend his UFC lightweight title against interim champion Justin Gaethje at UFC 254 in Abu Dhabi. The fight...