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UFC 253 live: Adesanya takes on Costa in Abu Dhabi’s Fight Island – News

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The main card features undefeated middleweight champion Israel Adesanya defending his title against unbeaten challenger Paulo Costa.

The mixed martial arts action returned to Abu Dhabi’s Fight Island with the much-anticipated UFC 253 on Sunday morning. The main card features undefeated middleweight champion Israel Adesanya defending his title against unbeaten challenger Paulo Costa. There are 11 fights on the card across different weight divisions held behind closed doors of the ‘safe zone’ at the Flash Forum on Yas Island.


39-year-old Espino submits Hughes

UFC 253 live: Adesanya takes on Costa in Abu Dhabi's Fight Island (KT26161927.PNG)

Spaniard Juan Espino, just two weeks shy of his 40th birthday, submitted 32-year-old American Jeff Hughes with an arm triangle choke in the opening round of the heavyweight bout. Espino ‘El Guapo’ had last fought in November 2018 and improved his MMA record to 10 wins.

“It’s been a long time outside of the cage. But I never lost motivation. I’m a world champion in grappling,” Espino said after his 3 minutes, 48 seconds eighth career victory through submission.

“This is my perfect submission.”


 Klein delivers knockout punch

UFC 253 live: Adesanya takes on Costa in Abu Dhabi's Fight Island (KT26162927.PNG)

Ludovit Klein, the UFC debutant from Slovakia, knocked out New Zealander Shane Young in just 1 minute, 16 seconds of the featherweight division bout. The 25-year-old blazed to 16 finishes out of 17 bouts.
“It’s amazing, this is everything for me, my dream to be the first Slovakian to go in the UFC and I am here now. This is a big moment for my country and me,” Klein said. “This is always my style, the high kick and demolishing my opponent,” he said about the winning move.


Matthews tops veteran Sanchez

Jake Matthews landed massive blows on veteran Diego Sanchez to win via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-26 and 30-26) in the welterweight fight. The 26-year-old Australian kept the 38-year-old on the ground and left him busted open at the end of three rounds.

“That last bit of ground and pound, I was this close to apologizing to him. I’ve watched him since I was 11 years old. Between him and BJ Penn, they’re two of my all-time favorites. I didn’t let it get to my head before the fight, but now it’s going to sink in and it’s crazy being able to beat a guy like that.”


Knight makes promising debut

American William Knight, on his UFC debut, dominated Russian star Aleksa Camur to win by unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27 and 30-27) in the light heavyweight encounter. With the result, the 32-year-old extended his MMA record to 10-1.

“It’s been crazy, I’m just jumping through hurdles, loops and holes and God knows what. It’s been crazy, there’s times I felt defeated and my team brought me back to life. So, I am happy.”


Newcomer Marques thumps Ibragimov

In the light heavyweight division tie, Danilo Marques, the 34-year-old UFC debutant from Brazil, defeated 25-year-old Russian Khadis Ibragimov via a unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28 and 30-27) after three rounds. It was Marques first bout since February 2018 and showed enough skills to stay in the UFC.

“I am so happy and that’s what matters to me right now. I have a long and hard way to still offer you. For me, this division is hard because it has so many good fighters,” Marques said.






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