Paulo Costa was supposed to challenge middleweight champion Israel Adesanya at UFC 248, but suffered a bicep injury, and Adesanya defended successfully vs. Yoel Romero. Costa was in attendance, but was escorted out of his seat to backstage due to, as UFC president Dana White explained, "going f***in' crazy."
Adesanya appeared recently on Submission Radio and offered some further details, and also weighed in on the potential for a superfight between light heavyweight Jon Jones and top heavyweight Francis Ngannou.
“Funny story I haven’t told," began Adesanya. "At my last fight – nobody wants to f*** with Francis – Paulo was acting up. You know how he got kicked out? He was acting up, misbehaving, acting a fool. And at one point – Dan told me this, Dan Hooker told me this – it’s like, Paulo sacked it to Francis cause Francis told him to shut the f*** up, that his last fight wasn’t that great anyways, and he just shut up and didn’t even make eye contact.”
“He was like, ‘hey, Paulo, shut up, you’re last fight wasn’t even that good anyway,’ and he just like, he just ignored him like he didn’t hear it. Everyone in the f***in' front row heard it and everyone saw him s*** his pants. So, no one wants to f*** with Francis.
"And I said, this nigga [Jon Jones] has been around the f***ing game for ten years he’s never jumped up in weight. He’s not doing it. Trust me. And a little birdy even told me, tweeted me, private messaged me and told me he’s not gonna do it. So, yeah, I already knew. And he’s gonna outprice himself. And it’s a great fight, sure. He can definitely beat Francis, sure. But trust me, you don’t want that f***ing smoke with Francis. Francis learned from his Stipe Miocic fight. He’s learned and he respects his own power now. He knows he can’t just fall in love with it. He’s a different man now from when I talked to him last, and I’m telling you, man, I can’t wait for him, Kamaru, and myself, all golded out, and we do this big tour of Africa. I really love that vision. I can’t wait till it happens.”
“It’s what Mayweather does. Whenever McGregor gets in the headlines or whenever McGregor fights, what does Mayweather do? He throws his name out there, acts like he’s gonna fight him. Just because he wants his name in the headlines. You keep yourself relevant. I can play that game too, I can play that game anytime Jon Jones fights. I don’t, but you guys keep asking me, so I’m like, oh, f***, I gotta talk about this again.”
“For me, I can’t really lock in a date yet, but I like August. August sounds good to me. Cause the restrictions on training here, we’re still, it’s so stupid. It’s weird, I’ll put it that way, but we still abide by the rules. We have a contact log, all that kind of stuff, we have groups that we train in specifically. So, it’s hard to get a full camp going. But the restrictions are coming off slowly I think. We just got an announcement yesterday, but I didn’t even check because I’m over it personally.”
The next title defense will be vs. Costa, in front of an empty arena, which suits Adesanya fine.
“I like it," he said. "Oh yeah, you’re gonna hear a lot of ***-talking and a lot of broken English from his part as well. What I really want is that intimacy, that no distractions. There’s no crowd. Cause sometimes people do play to the crowd. And I love the crowd, don’t get me wrong, I love a crowd, but I love this. It takes it back to the rawness, the realness of it. It’s me and this f***boy fighting in front of a couple of billionaires and the whole world can watch online, on streaming. It’s like some dark web s***, on fight island, like a fight to the death. And you can really hear all the impact and all that kind of stuff. So yeah, I look forward to fighting in an empty arena, or if it’s at the Apex. But I really want it to be on the island, to be honest.”