UFC 253

UFC 253: Adesanya vs. Costa
Adesanya vs. Costa.jpeg
The poster for UFC 253: Adesanya vs. Costa.
PromotionUltimate Fighting Championship
DateSeptember 27, 2020 (2020-09-27)
Venuedu Forum
CityAbu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
AttendanceNone (behind closed doors)[1]
Event chronology
UFC Fight Night: Covington vs. Woodley UFC 253: Adesanya vs. Costa UFC on ESPN: Holm vs. Aldana

UFC 253: Adesanya vs. Costa was a mixed martial arts event produced by the Ultimate Fighting Championship that took place on September 27, 2020 at the du Forum on Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.[3][4][5]


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.[3]

Although 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.[6] 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.[7] The pairing was then scheduled for UFC 254.[8]

With both Adesanya (left) and Costa (right) having no losses on their records (19–0 and 13–0, respectively), this bout represented just the second time in UFC history that two undefeated male athletes had met for a title. The only previous occasion was for the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship over a decade ago, between former champions Rashad Evans and Lyoto Machida at UFC 98 in 2009.[9]

Without fans in attendance, the promotion did not have to worry about the local timing of the event, so it proceeded with normal timing for prime time hours on the east coast of North America. The main card began 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.[10]

A UFC Middleweight Championship bout between current champion Israel Adesanya and Paulo Costa served as the event headliner.[11] The bout was originally targeted for UFC 248, but Costa was unable to compete on that card due to injury.[12] In turn, Adesanya defended his title against former title challenger (as well as 2000 Olympic silver medalist and former world champion in freestyle wrestling) Yoel Romero.[13]

A UFC Light Heavyweight Championship bout for the vacant title between former title challenger Dominick Reyes and former KSW Light Heavyweight Champion Jan Błachowicz served as the event's co-headliner.[14] Former two-time champion Jon Jones vacated the belt on August 17, citing issues with the UFC over salary negotiation and the desire to compete at heavyweight.[15][16]

A heavyweight bout between Ciryl Gane and Shamil Abdurakhimov was expected to take place at this event.[17] The pairing was originally scheduled for UFC 249, but Gane was forced to pull out of the event after he was struck by a pneumothorax in training.[18] Subsequently, the pairing was rescheduled for UFC 251 and cancelled a second time as Abdurakhimov was removed from the bout for undisclosed reasons.[19] In late August, the bout was moved from this event to UFC Fight Night: Covington vs. Woodley a week earlier.[20]

A strawweight bout between former UFC Women's Strawweight Championship challenger Cláudia Gadelha and Yan Xiaonan was expected to take place at this event, but a knee injury sustained by Gadelha ruled her out of the bout.[21] The pairing was rescheduled for UFC on ESPN: Santos vs. Teixeira instead.[22]

A flyweight bout between Jordan Espinosa and David Dvořák was expected to take place at this event, but was later rebooked for UFC Fight Night: Covington vs. Woodley due to undisclosed reasons.[23][24]

A women's bantamweight bout between Marion Reneau and Ketlen Vieira was scheduled for the event. However, Reneau was pulled from the bout on September 16 citing an undisclosed injury and replaced by Sijara Eubanks.[25]

Nate Landwehr was expected to face Shane Young in a featherweight bout at this event. However, Landwehr was pulled from the event after he tested positive for COVID-19 and replaced by promotional newcomer Ľudovít Klein.[26]

A bantamweight bout between Casey Kenney and Heili Alateng was originally expected to take place at this event.[27] However, it was moved to UFC on ESPN: Holm vs. Aldana a week later due to undisclosed reasons.[28]

At the weigh-ins, Zubaira Tukhugov and Ľudovít Klein missed weight for their respective featherweight bouts. Both fighters weighed in at 150 pounds, four pounds over the non-title fight limit. Both of their bouts proceeded at a catchweight and they were each fined a percentage of their individual purses, which went to their opponents Hakeem Dawodu and Shane Young.[29]


Main card
Weight class Method Round Time Notes
Middleweight Israel Adesanya (c) def. Paulo Costa TKO (punches) 2 3:59 [a]
Light Heavyweight Jan Błachowicz def. Dominick Reyes TKO (punches) 2 4:36 [b]
Flyweight Brandon Royval def. Kai Kara-France Submission (guillotine choke) 2 0:48
Women's Bantamweight Ketlen Vieira def. Sijara Eubanks Decision (unanimous) (29–28, 29–28, 29–28) 3 5:00
Catchweight (150 lb) Hakeem Dawodu def. Zubaira Tukhugov Decision (split) (28–29, 30–27, 29–28) 3 5:00
Preliminary card (ESPN2 / ESPN+)
Lightweight Brad Riddell def. Alex da Silva Coelho Decision (unanimous) (29–28, 29–28, 29–28) 3 5:00
Welterweight Jake Matthews def. Diego Sanchez Decision (unanimous) (30–26, 30–26, 30–26) 3 5:00
Catchweight (150 lb) Ľudovít Klein def. Shane Young KO (head kick and punches) 1 1:16
Light Heavyweight William Knight def. Aleksa Camur Decision (unanimous) (29–28, 30–27, 30–27) 3 5:00
Early Preliminary card (ESPN2 / ESPN+ / UFC Fight Pass)
Heavyweight Juan Espino def. Jeff Hughes Submission (scarf hold choke) 1 3:48
Light Heavyweight Danilo Marques def. Khadis Ibragimov Decision (unanimous) (29–28, 29–28, 30–27) 3 5:00


Bonus awards

The following fighters received $50,000 bonuses.[31]

  • Fight of the Night: Brandon Royval vs. Kai Kara-France
  • Performance of the Night: Israel Adesanya and Jan Błachowicz

See also


  1. ^ Marc Williams (2020-09-14). "UFC schedule 2020: Every upcoming event including Israel Adesanya's UFC 253 fight in Abu Dhabi and Khabib Nurmagomedov vs Justin Gaethje". talksport.com. Retrieved 2020-09-14.
  2. ^ Mike Coppinger (2020-10-01). "Sources: UFC 253 generated more than 700,000 PPV buys globally". theathletic.com. Retrieved 2020-10-02.
  3. ^ a b Tristen Critchfield (2020-08-15). "UFC 253, Israel Adesanya-Paulo Costa title bout official for Sept. 26". sherdog.com. Retrieved 2020-08-16.
  4. ^ Guilherme Cruz (2020-09-04). "UFC 253 kicks off Fight Island return in Abu Dhabi". mmafighting.com. Retrieved 2020-09-05.
  5. ^ Brett Okamoto (2020-09-04). "Sources: UFC 253, 254 to be held at Fight Island". espn.com. Retrieved 2020-09-05.
  6. ^ Darryl Pinto (2020-06-10). "BREAKING: Khabib Nurmagomedov vs Justin Gaethje set to scrap at UFC 253". essentiallysports.com. Retrieved 2020-07-11.
  7. ^ Staff (2020-07-22). "Khabib's manager insists Justin Gaethje bout will still happen in 2020". sports.yahoo.com. Retrieved 2020-07-23.
  8. ^ Simon Head (2020-07-28). "Dana White announces Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Justin Gaethje for Oct. 24". mmajunkie.usatoday.com. Retrieved 2020-07-28.
  9. ^ Mike Bohn (2020-08-18). "Israel Adesanya: Paulo Costa title fight will be everything Yoel Romero should've been". mmajunkie.usatoday.com. Retrieved 2020-09-05.
  10. ^ Press Release (2020-09-17). "UFC Fight Island - Everything you need to know". ufc.com. Retrieved 2020-09-17.
  11. ^ Mike Bohn (2020-07-18). "Israel Adesanya vs. Paulo Costa middleweight title fight set for UFC 253". mmajunkie.usatoday.com. Retrieved 2020-07-21.
  12. ^ Katrina Mahoney (2019-10-30). "Paulo Costa injured, Israel Adesanya targets Yoel Romero for his first title defence". fightnewsaustralia.com. Retrieved 2020-07-21.
  13. ^ Mike Bohn and John Morgan (2020-03-05). "Israel Adesanya rips Paulo Costa, explains UFC 248 fight with skidding Yoel Romero". mmajunkie.usatoday.com. Retrieved 2020-07-21.
  14. ^ Thomas Gerbasi (2020-08-18). "Reyes vs Blachowicz for light heavyweight title". ufc.com. Retrieved 2020-08-18.
  15. ^ Mike Bohn (2020-08-17). "Jon Jones vacates UFC title: 'It's officially up for grabs'". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved 2020-08-18.
  16. ^ Thomas Gerbasi (2020-08-18). "Jon Jones Announces he's vacated the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship". ufc.com. Retrieved 2020-08-18.
  17. ^ Farah Hannoun (2020-07-15). "With Sergei Pavlovich out, Ciryl Gane vs. Shamil Abdurakhimov targeted for Sept. 19 UFC event". mmajunkie.usatoday.com. Retrieved 2020-07-15.
  18. ^ Guilherme Cruz (2020-03-05). "Ciryl Gane out of UFC 249 fight with Shamil Abdurakhimov". mmafighting.com. Retrieved 2020-07-15.
  19. ^ Staff (2020-04-14). "Sergei Pavlovich encounters Ciryl Gane during the August 8 event". mmadna.nl. Retrieved 2020-07-15. (in Dutch)
  20. ^ Clyde Aidoo (2020-08-25). "Shamil Abdurakhimov vs. Ciryl Gane announced for Sep. 19". mmanews.com. Retrieved 2020-09-04.
  21. ^ Guilherme Cruz (2020-09-01). "Knee injury forces Claudia Gadelha out of UFC 253 fight with Yan Xiaonan". mmafighting.com. Retrieved 2020-09-01.
  22. ^ Staff (2020-09-10). "Yan sticking to master plan". china.org.cn. Retrieved 2020-09-10.
  23. ^ Staff (2020-07-22). "Flyweights Jordan Espinosa and David Dvorak added to UFC 253". mmadna.nl. Retrieved 2020-07-22. (in Dutch)
  24. ^ Bohuslav Sedláček (2020-09-07). "David Dvorak is in Las Vegas! He will fight there on September 19". sportyzive.cz. Retrieved 2020-09-11. (in Czech)
  25. ^ Julio Fernando Navas (2020-09-16). "After Marion Reneau's leave, Ketlen Vieira has a new opponent for UFC 253". mma.uno. Retrieved 2020-09-17. (in Spanish)
  26. ^ Miroslav Kováčik (2020-09-17). "A historic moment. Slovakia will have a wrestler in the prestigious UFC". sport.sme.sk. Retrieved 2020-09-17. (in Slovak)
  27. ^ Farah Hannoun (2020-07-19). "Casey Kenney vs. Heili Alateng added to UFC 253 lineup". mmajunkie.usatoday.com. Retrieved 2020-07-20.
  28. ^ Matthew Scott (2020-09-07). "UFC: China's 'Mongolian Knight' Heili Alateng looking to carve up bantamweight division". scmp.com. Retrieved 2020-09-19.
  29. ^ Staff (2020-09-25). "UFC 253 weigh-in results: All title fighters hit marks, but two come in heavy on 'Fight Island'". mmajunkie.usatoday.com. Retrieved 2020-09-25.
  30. ^ "UFC 253: Adesanya vs. Costa". Ultimate Fighting Championship. Retrieved 2020-08-17.
  31. ^ Alexander K. Lee (2020-09-27). "UFC 253 bonuses: Israel Adesanya, Jan Blachowicz cash in with championship performances". mmafighting.com. Retrieved 2020-09-27.


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