Bengaluru, September 24: The Ultimate Fighting Championship returns to Fight Island for a series of events starting this weekend with UFC 253: Adesanya vs. Costa, which is considered the biggest event of the year.
In a thrilling main event, the unbeaten middleweight champion Israel Adesanya looks to defend his title against fellow undefeated knockout artist and No. 2 ranked contender Paulo Costa.
After securing impressive wins over Derek Brunson and Anderson Silva, Adesanya defeated Kelvin Gastelum in one of the best fights of the year for the interim UFC middleweight championship.
He followed up this performance by finishing Robert Whittaker for the undisputed title in front of a record-breaking crowd of over 57,000 fans. Now, Adesanya looks to put on another vintage performance and become the first person to defeat Costa.
Brazilian powerhouse Costa, on the other hand, developed his reputation as one of the most devastating finishers in the middleweight division by stopping all but one of his wins before the final bell, including victories over Uriah Hall, Johny Hendricks and Garreth McLellan. Now, he plans to dethrone Adesanya and begin his reign as undisputed champion.
In the co-main event, the vacant UFC light heavyweight title is on the line as No. 1 ranked Dominick Reyes takes on No. 3 Jan Blachowicz.
Reyes aims to make good on his second shot at UFC gold and prove that he is the best light heavyweight on the planet.
A devastating finisher with nine first-round stoppages, Reyes quickly rose through the ranks with wins over Jared Cannonier, Ovince Saint Preux and former middleweight champion Chris Weidman. Now, he seeks to leave no doubt about his claim to the 205-pound throne by securing another vintage victory against Blachowicz.
Blachowicz is among the most successful UFC athletes to hail from Poland and has his sights set on becoming the first male Polish champion.
Blachowicz believes his momentum is at an all-time high following three of the biggest wins of his career that include stoppages over former middleweight champion Luke Rockhold, as well as perennial top contender Corey Anderson. He now looks to finally attain a UFC championship by becoming the only person to ever finish Reyes.
Also on the main card, top 10 flyweights collide as no. 7 Kai Kara France and no. 10 Brandon Royval clash, while women's bantamweights collide as Kelten Vieira takes on Sijara Eubanks and finally top featherweight prospects lock horns as Hakeem Dawodu battles Zubaira Tukhugov.
Meanwhile, in the preliminary card, we will see the likes of Diego Sanchez, Jake Matthews, Shane Young, Jeff Hughes and Khadis Ibragimov among other MMA talents in action.
Here is all you need to know about UFC 253:
Venue, date, time and telecast information
When and where is UFC 253 taking place?
The event takes place on Sunday (September 27) at the UFC Fight Island, Flash Forum on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi.
What time does UFC 253 start?
The preliminary card starts at 6.30 PM ET / 3.30 PM PT / 11 PM GMT (Saturday, September 26) | 4.30 AM IST (Sunday, September 27). The main card, meanwhile, starts at 10 PM ET / 7 PM PT (Saturday, September 26) | 2 AM GMT / 7.30 AM IST (Sunday, September 27).
Where and how to watch UFC 253: Adesanya vs. Costa?
The main card will be shown live on Sony TEN 2 (English) & Sony TEN 3 (Hindi) and streamed live via Sony LIV. In the US, the prelims will stream live on Pay-Per-View, exclusively through ESPN+ in both English and Spanish.
Main Event: Adesanya vs. Costa talking points
• UFC middleweight champion and No. 4 ranked men's pound-for-pound fighter
• 14 wins by KO
• Six first-round finishes
• 75-4 pro kickboxing record (29 Kos)
• Holds wins over Robert Whittaker, Yoel Romero and Anderson Silva
• No. 2 ranked UFC middleweight contender
• 11 wins by KO, one via submission
• Nine first-round finishes
• Featured on The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil season 3
• Holds victories against over Yoel Romero, Uriah Hall and Johny Hendricks
Co-main Event: Reyes vs. Blachowicz talking points
• No. 1 ranked UFC light heavyweight contender
• Seven wins by KO, two via submission
• Nine first-round finishes
• Sole loss via controversial decision to Jon Jones
• Holds wins over Jared Cannonier, Ovince Saint Preux and Chris Weidman
• No. 3 ranked UFC light heavyweight contender
• Nine wins by submission, seven via KO
• Seven first-round finishes
• On a three-fight win streak
• Holds wins over Corey Anderson, Luke Rockhold and Jacare Souza
UFC (@ufc) September 21, 2020
UFC 253: Adesanya vs. Costa Fight Card
1. Middleweight title bout: Israel Adesanya (c) vs. Paulo Costa
2. Light Heavyweight title bout: Dominick Reyes vs. Jan Blachowicz
3. Flyweight bout: Kai Kara-France vs. Brandon Royval
4. Women's Bantamweight bout: Ketlen Vieira vs. Sijara Eubanks
5. Featherweight bout: Hakeem Dawodu vs. Zubaira Tukhugov
1. Lightweight bout: Brad Riddell vs. Alex da Silva
2. Welterweight bout: Diego Sanchez vs. Jake Matthews
3. Featherweight bout: Shane Young vs. ĽudovÍt Klein
4. Light Heavyweight bout: William Knight vs. Aleksa Camur
5. Heavyweight bout: Juan Espino vs. Jeff Hughes
6. Light Heavyweight bout: Khadis Ibragimov vs. Danilo Marques