UFC 253 (UFC 253: Adesanya vs. Costa) took place Saturday, September 26th from The Flash Forum on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. The event was broadcast on the ESPN+ streaming platform and the main card through ESPN+ PPV.
The main event featured undefeated middleweight champion Israel Adesanya defending his title against top contender Paulo Costa and in the co-feature Jan Blachowicz fought Dominick Reyes for the vacant lightheavyweight title.
Main Card (Live on ESPN+ PPV, 10:00 PM EST)
-Israel Adesanya defeated Paulo Costa by TKO (Strikes, Round 2, 3:49)
-Jan Blachowicz defeated Dominick Reyes by TKO (Strikes, Round 2, 4:36)
-Brandon Royval defeated Kai Kara-France by Submission (Guillotine Choke, Round 2, 0:48)
-Ketlen Vieira defeated Sijara Eubanks by Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
-Hakeem Dawodu defeated Zubaira Tukhugov by Split Decision (28-29, 30-27, 29-28)
Preliminary Bouts (Live on ESPN+ & ESPN 2, 8:00 PM EST)
-Brad Riddell defeated Alex Da Silva by Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
-Jake Matthews defeated Diego Sanchez by Unanimous Decision (30-26, 30-26, 30-26)
-Ludovit Klein defeated Shane Young by KO (Strikes, Round 1, 1:16)
-Willam Knight defeated Aleksa Camur by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Preliminary Bouts (Live on ESPN+, 7:00 PM EST)
-Juan Espino defeated Jeff Hughes by Submission (Arm-Triangle, Round 1, 3:48)
-Danilo Marques defeated Khadis Ibragimov by Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
UFC 253 Background
The event was originally expected to take place on September 19, but it was moved to September 27. UFC Fight Night: Covington vs. Woodley took place on the former date.
While not officially announced by the organization, a UFC Lightweight Championship unification bout between current champion Khabib Nurmagomedov and interim champion Justin Gaethje (also former WSOF Lightweight Champion) was briefly linked to the event. However, the date did not materialize and their manager, Ali Abdelaziz, indicated that his clients would still face each other before the end of the year. The pairing has now been scheduled for UFC 254.
With both Adesanya (left) and Costa (right) having no losses on their records (19–0 and 13–0, respectively), this bout represents just the second time in UFC history that two undefeated male athletes will have met for a title, with the other taking place over a decade ago between former UFC Light Heavyweight Champions Rashad Evans and Lyoto Machida at UFC 98.
Without fans in attendance, the promotion does not have to worry about the local timing of the event, so the plan is to proceed with normal timing for prime time hours on the east coast of North America. The main card is scheduled to begin at 6:00 am (September 27) local time in Abu Dhabi, with a full preliminary card beginning at approximately 2:30 am Gulf Standard Time. [cite : wikipedia]