Israel Adesanya is still the king of the UFC's middleweight division, after he made quick work of Brazilian contender Paulo Costa in the main event of UFC 253 at the Fight Island on Sunday, Manila time.
Adesanya moved to 20-0 in his mixed martial arts career after he stopped Costa in the second round, with the referee calling for the bell at the 3:59 mark as "Stylebender" overwhelmed his challenger.
This marks Adesanya's second successful title defense of the belt that he won in October 2019 against Robert Whittaker.
Adesanya's leg kicks made all the difference as he repeatedly landed against Costa, before nailing the Brazilian on the head in the second round with another kick then flooring him with a left hand.
This was the first loss of Costa's career.
In the co-main event, Jan Blachowicz rose to the top of the UFC's light heavyweight division with a TKO win over Dominick Reyes.
Blachowicz started off strong in the first round to set the tone of the fight, and then landed a combination to Reyes in the second round that staggered his foe. It was the beginning of the end for Reyes as Blachowicz unloaded on him, forcing the referee to stop the fight at the 4:36 mark.
The Blachowicz-Reyes bout was made after Jon Jones vacated the light heavyweight belt in August, with the intent of moving up to heavyweight.