Israel Adesanya shut up Paulo Costa on Saturday night in a dominant defense of his middleweight title, winning by TKO in the second round in the main event of UFC 253.
Adesanya battered Costa's front leg with kicks to quiet the Brazilian fighter's trash talking in the early going, and by the start of Round 2, Costa had bruises up and down his lower half.
Adesanya opened up Costa's face with a high kick at the start of the second round, and then finished off his challenger with a left counter punch to the dome. Costa stumbled backward and could not recover.
Earlier in the main card on "Fight Island" in the United Arab Emirates, Jan Błachowicz defeated Dominick Reyes, also by TKO, to claim the light heavyweight title.
Sporting News provided live round-by-round results, highlights, commentary and more for UFC 253. Follow along below.
UFC 253 results, highlights from Israel Adesanya vs. Paulo Costa
12:41 a.m.: Adesanya wins by TKO! He absolutely dominated Costa and finished him off with a left-handed punch.
12:39 a.m.: Now Costa is bleeding from the face after Adesanya elevates a kick. This fight is one-sided.
12:36 a.m.: Costa's front leg already looks really beat up.
12:34 a.m.: Round 1 ends with Adesanya likely ahead on the scorecard.
12:33 a.m.: Adesanya is focusing on leg kicks early, and it's working well. Just chipping away.
12:32 a.m.: Lots of trash talk going on in Round 1.
12:28 a.m.: Adesanya vs. Costa is live.
12:26 a.m.: They're in the Octagon.
12:21 a.m.: The matchup itself is epic, and the genuine dislike between Adesanya and Costa only adds to the occasion. They're making their entrances now.
12:14 a.m.: Just one fight remains tonight: Israel Adesanya vs. Paulo Costa.
12:08 a.m.: Błachowicz wins by TKO! Both fighters started swinging big late in the second round, and Błachowicz's power got the best of Reyes. He becomes champion of the light heavyweight division.
12:06 a.m.: A big welt has developed on the side of Reyes where that first-round kick connected.
12:02 a.m.: There was one nice kick-to-body effort landed by Błachowicz in that first round. Remains to be seen how much it will hinder Reyes.
Midnight: It has been a timid start to this fight. Some energy conservation and feeling each other out.
11:56 p.m.: Round 1 of Reyes vs. Błachowicz is underway.
11:51 p.m.: Walkouts are finishing up.
11:37 p.m.: Dominick Reyes vs. Jan Błachowicz for the vacant light heavyweight title is up next. We're getting to the really good stuff.
11:35 p.m.: Royval wins by submission!
11:32 p.m.: Round 1 of Kara-France vs. Royval is in the books. Royval had double the amount of significant strikes as Kara-France (30-15). It was energetic both ways.
11:15 p.m.: Vieira wins by unanimous decision.
11:06 p.m.: Vieira has the upper hand halfway through Round 2. She's been good upright and on the ground.
10:58 p.m.: Vieira vs. Eubanks is underway.
10:53 p.m.: Next up is the women's bantamweight matchup of Ketlen Vieira vs. Sijara Eubanks. Walkouts have been completed.
10:39 p.m.: Dawodu wins in a split decision. As he should have, based on the way he kept the pressure in the third round.
10:36 p.m.: Dawodu has landed the punch of the final round and pounded his opponent with kicks.
10:31 p.m.: Through two rounds, Dawodu might have a slight edge. But it's really close.
10:28 p.m.: This has been a spicy fight. Dawodu and Tukhugov are trading big blows in Round 2.
Great fight to open the Main Card— Cody Garbrandt (@Cody_Nolove) September 27, 2020
10:19 p.m.: The main card is officially underway with Round 1 of Dawodu vs. Tukhugov.
10:14 p.m.: The fighters are completing their walkouts.
10:06 p.m.: The first pay-per-view fight this evening is Hakeem Dawodu vs. Zubaira Tukhugov in the featherweight division.
10 p.m.: Riddell edges in a unanimous decision, and the prelims are finished. The main card should begin soon.
9:36 p.m.: One more fight until the main card begins.
9:35 p.m.: Jake Matthews beats Diego Sanchez by unanimous decision.
8:48 p.m.: A NASTY kick from Klein puts away Young.
HEADKICK ARTIST— UFC (@ufc) September 27, 2020
Ludovit Klein puts Slovakia on the map!
[ Tune in LIVE on ESPN2 ] pic.twitter.com/0oj8dN5p1Y
8:39 p.m.: Knight wins by unanimous decision.
8:30 p.m.: Knight almost had Camur beaten at the end of Round 2.
8 p.m.: Welcome everyone to UFC 253 action! The early prelims just finished up with a Juan Espino submission victory. William Knight vs. Aleksa Camur is up next.
UFC 253 results
Israel Adesanya (c) def. Paulo Costa by TKO to defend his middleweight title.
Jan Błachowicz def. Dominick Reyes by TKO for the vacant light heavyweight title.
Brandon Royval def. Kai Kara-France by submission.
Ketlen Vieira def. Sijara Eubanks (29-28, 29-28, 29-28).
Hakeem Dawodu def. Zubaira Tukhugov by split decision (29-28, 27-30, 29-28).
Brad Riddell def. Alex Da Silva by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28).
Jake Matthews def. Diego Sanchez by unanimous decision (30-26, 30-26, 30-26).
Ľudovít Klein def. Shane Young by TKO.
William Knight def. Aleksa Camur by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28).
Juan Espino def. Jeff Hughes by submission.
Danilo Marques def. Khadis Ibragimov by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28).
What time does UFC 253 start?
- Date: Saturday, Sept. 26
- Early prelims: 7 p.m. ET
- Prelims: 8 p.m. ET
- Main card: 10 p.m. ET
- Live stream: ESPN+
UFC 253 takes place Saturday, Sept. 26. Early prelims get underway at 7 p.m. ET, followed by prelims at 8 p.m. ET and the main card pay-per-view at 10 p.m. ET.
UFC 253 fight card
- Israel Adesanya (c) vs. Paulo Costa for Adesanya's middleweight title
- Dominick Reyes vs. Jan Błachowicz for vacant light heavyweight title
- Kai Kara-France vs. Brandon Royval; flyweights
- Ketlen Vieira vs. Sijara Eubanks; women's bantamweights
- Hakeem Dawodu vs. Zubaira Tukhugov; featherweights
- Brad Riddell vs. Alex Da Silva; lightweights
- Diego Sanchez vs. Jake Matthews; welterweights
- Shane Young vs. Ľudovít Klein; featherweights
- William Knight vs. Aleksa Camur; light heavyweights
- Juan Espino vs. Jeff Hughes; heavyweights
- Khadis Ibragimov vs. Danilo Marques; light heavyweights