Leading up to the TUF 27 Finale, Israel Adesanya made it clear that Uriah Hall is in his sights, and that hasn’t changed following his win on Saturday.
Adesanya faced Brad Tavares in the headliner of Friday’s card, and “The Last Stylebender’s” diverse and creative striking game ruled the day. Tavares hung in there, and kept firing off strikes of his own until the final horn, but Adesanya outstruck the middleweight contender by a wide margin.
Well, at UFC 226 tonight, Uriah Hall will take on Paulo Costa. Prior to the TUF 27 Finale, Adesanya said he wants to fight Hall next, provided he gets by Costa. Then, following last night’s victory, the rising star had this to say about Hall (quotes via MMA Junkie):
“I’m going to watch the premier middleweight bout, and I want to fight the winner of that. But I see those guys. They’re going to beat themselves up. They’re probably going to need longer to recover than I will. I’m fresh. It’s the pretty ones you’ve got to watch out for.”
“I saw something the other day where he said he didn’t know who I am. Boy, you know who the (expletive) I am now. Understand?”
“These guys are trying to pretend they don’t know me, and they’re creeping up on my Instagram and (expletive). I don’t really care. Hey, win your fight tomorrow, and I’m going to see you later on.”
Now, obviously from a stylistic stand-point, a fight between Adesanya and Hall has the makings of something special. But, Hall needs to get past Costa, and that’s probably not going to be easy. We’re talking about a guy who has gone 11-0 to date, and who is widely viewed as one of the top rising commodities at 185. Thus, this is why Costa is a huge favorite according to the oddsmakers, in the -340 to -430 range.
So, it will be interesting to see if Costa does win, if the UFC looks at having him fight Adesanya next.
UFC 226 will be hosted by the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.