(#1) DOMINICK REYES vs. (#3) JAN BLACHOWICZ
(#7) KAI KARA FRANCE vs. (#10) BRANDON ROYVAL
Las Vegas – UFC® kicks off its second run on UFC FIGHT ISLAND with one of the biggest events of the year, as middleweight champion Israel Adesanya looks to defend his title against fellow undefeated knockout artist and No. 2 ranked contender Paulo Costa. In the co-main event, the vacant UFC light heavyweight title is on the line as No. 1 ranked Dominick Reyes takes on No. 3 Jan Blachowicz.
UFC® 253: ADESANYA vs. COSTA will take place Saturday, September 26 on Abu Dhabi’s Yas Island and will stream live on Pay-Per-View, exclusively through ESPN+ in the U.S. at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT in both English and Spanish. The prelims will be simulcast on ESPN2 and ESPN+ (English and Spanish) beginning at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT with the early prelims kicking off at 6:30 p.m. ET /3:30 p.m. PT simulcast on ESPN2, ESPN Deportes and ESPN+ and on UFC Fight Pass. The event will be closed to the public and will be produced with only essential personnel in attendance.
Adesanya (19-0, fighting out of Auckland, New Zealand) has quickly become one of the top superstars in the UFC since joining the promotion in 2018. After securing impressive wins over Derek Brunson and Anderson Silva, Adesanya defeated Kelvin Gastelum in one of the best fights of the year for the interim UFC middleweight championship. He followed up this performance by finishing Robert Whittaker for the undisputed title in front of a record-breaking crowd of over 57,000 fans. Now, Adesanya looks to put on another vintage performance and become the first person to defeat Costa.
Brazilian powerhouse Costa (13-0, fighting out of Contagem, Minas Gerais, Brazil) intends to make the most of his first UFC title shot by landing another signature knockout. Costa developed his reputation as one of the most devastating finishers in the middleweight division by stopping all but one of his wins before the final bell, including victories over Uriah Hall, Johny Hendricks and Garreth McLellan. Now, he plans to dethrone Adesanya and begin his reign as undisputed champion.
Reyes (12-1, fighting out of Victorville, Calif.) aims to make good on his second shot at UFC gold and prove that he is the best light heavyweight on the planet. A devastating finisher with nine first-round stoppages, Reyes quickly rose through the ranks with wins over Jared Cannonier, Ovince Saint Preux and former middleweight champion Chris Weidman. Now, he seeks to leave no doubt about his claim to the 205-pound throne by securing another vintage victory against Blachowicz.
Blachowicz (26-8, fighting out of Warsaw, Poland) is among the most successful UFC athletes to hail from Poland and has his sights set on becoming the first male Polish champion. Blachowicz believes his momentum is at an all-time high following three of the biggest wins of his career that include stoppages over former middleweight champion Luke Rockhold, as well as perennial top contender Corey Anderson. He now looks to finally attain a UFC championship by becoming the only person to ever finish Reyes.
Additional bouts on the card include:
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