Two big championship fights will highlight the UFC’s upcoming pay-per-view on Sept. 26.
At UFC 253, which takes place on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi, middleweight champion Israel Adesanya (19-0 MMA, 8-0 UFC) will put his title on the line against Paulo Costa (13-0 MMA, 5-0 UFC) in the night’s headliner, while Dominick Reyes (12-1 MMA, 6-1 UFC) and Jan Blachowicz (26-8 MMA, 9-5 UFC) will battle it out for the vacant light heavyweight title in the co-main event.
Since unifying the 185-pound title with a second-round finish of Robert Whittaker last October at UFC 243, unbeaten Adesanya notched his first title defense in March by defeating Yoel Romero via unanimous decision at UFC 248.
Also unbeaten in his pro MMA career, Costa is coming off a win against a common opponent in Romero, outlasting him in a three-round thriller at UFC 241 in August 2019.
Reyes suffered his first career blemish when he was narrowly edged out by then-light heavyweight champion Jon Jones at UFC 247 in a fight that many, including Dana White, thought he won. After Jones decided to vacate his belt, Reyes will get a second shot at the title against the streaking Blachowicz.
Blachowicz has won three straight fights, which includes knockout wins over former UFC middleweight champion Luke Rockhold and most recently Corey Anderson at UFC on ESPN+ 25 in February.
Check out the official poster for UFC 253 below:
#UFCFightIsland starts with a BANG![ #ESPNPlus PPV | @VisitAbuDhabi | #InAbuDhabi ] pic.twitter.com/DSb9ARao2M
— UFC (@ufc) September 17, 2020
The latest UFC 253 lineup now includes:
- Israel Adesanya vs. Paulo Costa – for middleweight title
- Jan Blachowicz vs. Dominick Reyes – for vacant light heavyweight title
- Kai Kara-France vs. Brandon Royval
- Sijara Eubanks vs. Ketlen Vieira
- Hakeem Dawodu vs. Zubaira Tukhugov
- Alex da Silva vs. Brad Riddell
- Jake Matthews vs. Diego Sanchez
- Ludovit Klein vs. Shane Young
- Aleksa Camur vs. William Knight
- Juan Espino vs. Jeff Hughes
- Heili Alateng vs. Casey Kenney
- Khadis Ibragimov vs. Danilo Marques
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