A highly anticipated middleweight championship fight and a battle for the vacant light heavyweight championship will headline UFC 253 on Sept. 26. A location for the event has not yet been confirmed, with rumors stating the UFC APEX in Las Vegas and Fight Island in Abu Dhabi are both in play.
In the main event, Israel Adesanya will put his middleweight title on the line in his second title defense, taking on Paulo Costa in what has developed into a grudge match. Adesanya won the title last October by knocking out Robert Whittaker. He then beat Yoel Romero in March in a highly disappointing fight by decision. Adesanya is 19-0 in his career and 8-0 in the Octagon, with all eight UFC victories coming since February 2018. Costa is 13-0 in his career and a massive man for the 185-pound division. He has ended 11 of his 13 career fights by knockout.
In the co-main event, Jan Blachowicz and Dominick Reyes will battle for the vacant light heavyweight title. Jon Jones recently vacated the title as he plans his move up to the heavyweight division, leaving the top contenders to square off to crown a new champion. Reyes is coming off a controversial decision loss to Jones, suffering the first defeat of his career in the process. Blachowicz is on a three-fight winning streak, most recently knocking out Corey Anderson.
Below are the confirmed bouts for the fight card that is still yet to announce a location less than a month out. Among the most interesting bouts is Jake Matthews vs. Diego Sanchez as Sanchez nears the end of his career. He won his most recent outing by disqualification after Michel Pereira landed an illegal knee. Because of that, he's won three of his last four fights.
UFC 253 fight card, odds
- Israel Adesanya (c) -160 vs. Paulo Costa +135, middleweight title
- Dominick Reyes -240 vs. Jan Blachowicz +200, vacant light heavyweight title
- Yan Xiaonan -150 vs. Claudia Gadelha +125, women's strawweights
- Hakeem Dawodu vs. Zubaira Tukhugov, featherweights
- Kai Kara-France vs. Brandon Rovyal, flyweights
- Ketlen Viera vs. Marion Reneau, bantamweights
- Diego Sanchez vs. Jake Matthews, welterweights
- Brad Riddell vs. Alex da Silva, lightweights
- Nate Landwehr vs. Shane Young, featherweights
UFC 253 info
- Date: Sept.26
- Location: TBD
- Start time: 10 p.m. ET (Main card)
- How to watch: ESPN+ pay-per-view