UFC 253: Adesanya vs Costa Preview

By Kyler Kuehler

UFC 253: Adesanya vs. Costa will air on September 26, 2020, in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

Early Preliminary Card (Fight Pass/ESPN+)

KHADIS IBRAGIMOV (8-3-0) vs DANILO MARQUES (9-2-0)
This is a three-round fight in the light heavyweight division. Ibragimov brings striking and sambo. Marques brings striking and jiu-jitsu. Both are great grapplers; Ibragimov’s sambo is better. Marques will try using his jiu-jitsu, but it won’t be enough. Ibragimov will overpower him and keep him under control. Marques will then try to get back to his feet, but Ibragimov will continue to keep him on the ground. My prediction: Ibragimov wins via unanimous decision.

JUAN FRANCISCO “EL GUAPO” ESPINO (9-1-0) vs JEFF “LIGHTS OUT” HUGHES (10-3-0, 1 NC)
This is a three-round fight in the heavyweight division. Espino brings striking and jiu-jitsu. Hughes brings striking and jiu-jitsu. Both look well-rounded; Espino is better with striking. He will throw harder and faster than Hughes. Hughes will try to stand and strike with Espino, but he won’t be able to keep up. Espino will continue to attack him until he can no longer continue. My prediction: Espino wins via TKO in Round 2.

Preliminary Card (ESPN/+)

WILLIAM “KNIGHTMARE” KNIGHT (8-1-0) vs ALEKSA CAMUR (6-0-0)
This is a three-round fight in the light heavyweight division. Knight brings striking and grappling. Camur brings striking and grappling. Both contain similar styles; Knight is more aggressive. He will bring Camur to the ground and keep him there. He will use his ground-and-pound to tear away at Camur. Camur will try to defend, but he will be no match for the power of Knight. My prediction: Knight wins via TKO in Round 2.

SHANE “SUGAR” YOUNG (13-4-0) vs LUDOVIT KLEIN (16-2-0)
This is a three-round fight in the featherweight division. Young brings striking and jiu-jitsu. Klein brings boxing and grappling. Both are well-equipped; Young seems to be just a little more experienced with grappling. However, Klein is much better with his striking and that will keep Young from bringing him to the ground. Young will try to strike with Klein. He will eat heavy blows and become injured to the point he won’t be able to continue. My prediction: Klein wins via TKO in Round 2.

DIEGO “LIONHEART” SANCHEZ (30-12-0) vs JAKE “THE CELTIC KID” MATTHEWS (16-4-0)
This is a three-round fight in the welterweight division. Sanchez brings Gaidojutsu, jiu-jitsu, and wrestling. Matthews brings striking, jiu-jitsu, and wrestling. Sanchez is as tough as they come and never holds anything back. Matthews never holds back and will be able to cause major damage to Sanchez. He will cause Sanchez to grow cautious and try to find a way around. Matthews will keep him at bay. Sanchez will try to bring Matthews to the ground. Matthews will manage to keep the fight standing and force Sanchez to play his game. My prediction: Matthews wins via unanimous decision.

BRAD “QUAKE” RIDDELL (8-1-0) vs ALEX “LEKO” DA SILVA COELHO (21-2-0)
This is a three-round fight in the lightweight division. Riddell brings kickboxing. Silva brings boxing and jiu-jitsu. Silva looks to use his jiu-jitsu to finish Riddell quickly. Riddell will avoid Silva’s jiu-jitsu with his takedown defense and throw heavy strikes in return. Silva will grow cautious and try to defend, but only eat more of Riddell’s strikes. My prediction: Riddell wins via knockout in Round 1.

Main Card (Pay-Per-View – ESPN+)

HAKEEM “MEAN” DAWODU (11-1-1) vs ZUBAIRA “WARRIOR” TUKHUGOV (19-4-1)
This is a three-round fight in the featherweight division. Dawodu brings kickboxing and Muay Thai. Tukhugov brings boxing and sambo. The striking abilities of Dawodu seem to be just enough to take Tukhugov down. Tukhugov will avoid his striking by using his sambo to bring Dawodu to the ground. There he will control Dawodu throughout the fight will Dawodu tries to get back to his feet. My prediction: Tukhugov wins via unanimous decision.

#7 KETLEN “FENOMENO” VIEIRA (10-1-0) vs #13 SIJARA “SARJ” EUBANKS (6-4-0)
This is a three-round fight in the women’s bantamweight division. Vieira brings kickboxing, judo, and jiu-jitsu. Eubanks brings striking and jiu-jitsu. The jiu-jitsu Eubanks possesses seems to be enough for her to take Vieira out. However, Vieira will be using her boxing and kickboxing to cause greater damage to Eubanks. Eubanks will try to defend and counter, but she will grow weaker with each heavy attack Vieira throws at her. My prediction: Vieira wins via unanimous decision.

#7 KAI “DON’T BLINK” KARA-FRANCE (21-8-0, 1 NC) vs #10 BRANDON “RAW DAWG” ROYVAL (11-4-0)
This is a three-round fight in the flyweight division. Kara-France brings boxing, kickboxing, and jiu-jitsu. Royval brings Muay Thai and jiu-jitsu. Kara-France looks to use his boxing and kickboxing to take control of Royval. Royval will use his Muay Thai to overpower Kara-France’s combination and cause major damage. Kara-France will try to bring Royval to the ground, but only to get caught with more attacks from Royval. My prediction: Royval wins via knockout in Round 2.

#1 DOMINICK “THE DEVASTATOR” REYES (12-1-0) vs #3 JAN “PRINCE OF CIESZYN” BLACHOWICZ (26-8-0)
This is a five-round co-main event for the vacant light heavyweight championship. Reyes brings boxing, kickboxing, judo, and jiu-jitsu. Blachowicz brings Muay Thai and jiu-jitsu. Both contain great knockout power and grappling abilities to become a true champion. Blachowicz’s Muay Thai is a serious threat to Reyes and looks to cause major damage early-on. Reyes will be able to withstand Blachowicz’s Muay Thai and counter with his boxing. He will cause heavy damage to Blachowicz and cause him to back up. Blachowicz will try to find and opening, but only eat more of Reyes’ attacks. My prediction: Reyes wins via knockout in Round 1.

(C) ISRAEL “THE LAST STYLEBENDER” ADESANYA (19-0-0) vs #2 PAULO “THE ERASER” COSTA (13-0-0)
This is a five-round main event for the middleweight championship. Adesanya brings boxing, kickboxing, Muay Thai, taekwondo, and jiu-jitsu. He is the current champion. Costa brings boxing, kickboxing, and jiu-jitsu. Adesanya looks to make quick work of Costa with his striking abilities. However, Costa is no stranger to striking power and he can withstand more than most can. Adesanya will have to avoid Costa’s power at all costs. It will be difficult as Costa will not be holding back. Adesanya will then try to fight Costa head-on, but it will prove to be a huge mistake. My prediction: Costa wins via TKO in Round 3.