Paulo Costa still plans on being front and center to watch his potential next opponent.
He will fly halfway across the world to Melbourne, Australia, to watch Robert Whittaker defend his middleweight title against interim champion Israel Adesanya in the UFC 243 main event on Oct 5.
And though he has said in the past that he’d rather Adesanya win so he can fight him, “The Eraser” believes Whittaker will get the job done.
“Robert is a more complete fighter than Israel,” Costa told MMA Junkie. “I think Robert will still be champion. He will defeat the fake champion, Israel. I think Robert will win by judges’ decision.”
It’s no secret that Costa and Adesanya aren’t big fans of each other, and Costa says it all stems from when “The Stylebender” called him out for a fight a while back.
“It started months ago when he called me out to fight against him,” Costa said. “I do not like him because he talks a lot of (expletive) about everybody. I want to show everybody how fragile he is.”
Costa (13-0 MMA, 5-0 UFC) is coming off the biggest win of his career, a unanimous decision over Yoel Romero at UFC 241. That set up him for what’s projected to be the next shot at gold. Costa thinks he got through the toughest challenge in the division.
“My performance was very good,” Costa said. “I won the biggest challenge in the category. In my opinion, I won the three rounds. Maybe we had the best fight of the year.”
Right after the fight, Costa underwent surgery in his left arm, an injury he says got worse during his fight with Romero.
“I had surgery on the left biceps tendon,” he said. “It was an old injury. I had to fight with 50 percent of the ruptured tendon against Romero because I didn’t have time to have surgery before the fight. Now that the fight has happened, it was the ideal time to perform surgery because I will have time to recover and return 100 percent to challenge for the belt.”
But he doesn’t expect the injury to keep him out for too long. He expects to be sidelined for a little less than a month.
“I will be out for just three weeks and I can fight again in December,” Costa said. “I will wait to fight for the belt. This is my time. I am next.”
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Source: USA Today – MMA Junkie
Read the full article here: Paulo Costa predicts win for Robert Whittaker over 'fake champion' Israel Adesanya at UFC 243