Paulo Costa will fly to Melbourne to watch Robert Whittaker vs. Israel Adesanya in the main event of UFC 232 on Oct. 5, and he is hoping for Adesanya to win.

Costa is next in line for the 185-pound championship after a close decision victory against Yoel Romero on August 2019. He hopes to have solidified his case for being the ideal title contender after defeating Yoel Romero, an opponent he calls “the toughest guy in the division.”

Still recovering from surgery on his left bicep, Brazilian mixed martial artist Costa, who sustained the injury more than one year ago, believes he’ll be ready to enter the cage by December. He forecasts an early-2020 clash with the winner of Whittaker vs. Adesanya.

Even though Whittaker is favorite to win in Australia, the Brazilian middleweight hopes he’s wrong.

“I’m really rooting for Adesanya to win,” Costa told in an interview. “I think it’s going to be a really tough, I don’t think he gets past (Whittaker), but I’m asking God for him to win because I would really love to win the belt by beating him up.

“I really want to knock him out cold in the Octagon (and) leave him lying on the floor unconscious, he added. “I want to take that belt away from him so he stops being such a clown, but I don’t think he gets past Whittaker.”

“I think Whittaker is more complicated,” Costa said. “(Adesanya is) too easy. Not that he’s a bad fighter. I think that compared to Romero and Whittaker, Adesanya would be the easiest one.

“I have nothing against (Whittaker),” he added. “It would be a normal fight. I would still move forward to knock him out. None of my fights were personal, and I still knocked everyone out, so it would be another good one. But I think he’s easier than Romero.”


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