On Saturday, Sept. 26, the UFC hosted UFC 253: Adesanya vs. Costa from Yas Island in Abu Dhabi, UAE. The event once again featured no fans in attendance due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the night’s main event, undefeated middleweight king Israel Adesanya defended his title against fellow unbeated Paulo Costa. The decorated kickboxer Adesanya stretched his record to 19-0 with a successful title defense against Yoel Romero at UFC 248 in March. Brazil’s Costa was also coming off a victory over Romero, a UFC 241 “Fight of the Night” performance against the Cuban.
Gold was also on the line in the co-main event as Dominick Reyes met Poland’s Jan Błachowicz for the vacant 205-pound strap.
The event kicked off with six fights airing on both ESPN 2 and ESPN+ at 7 p.m. ET. The five-fight main card followed live on ESPN+ pay-per-view at 10 p.m. ET.
Israel Adesanya def. Paulo Costa by TKO (strikes). Round 2, 3:59 – for middleweight title
Jan Błachowicz def. Dominick Reyes by TKO (punches). Round 2, 4:36 – for light heavyweight title
Brandon Royval def. Kai Kara-France by submission (guillotine choke). Round 2, 0:48
Ketlen Vieira def. Sijara Eubanks by unanimous decision (29-28 x3)
Hakeem Dawodu def. Zubaira Tukhugov by split decision (28-29, 30-27, 29-28)
Brad Riddell def. Alex da Silva by unanimous decision (29-28 x3)
Jake Matthews def. Diego Sanchez by unanimous decision (30-26 x3)
Ľudovít Klein def. Shane Young by knockout (head kick and punches). Round 1, 1:16
William Knight def. Aleksa Camur by unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
Juan Espino def. Jeff Hughes by submission (scarf hold choke). Round 1, 3:48
Danilo Marques def. Khadis Ibragimov by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)