Eric Albarracin can’t wait for the build-up between Paulo Costa and Israel Adesanya.
The undefeated Costa (13-0 MMA, 5-0 UFC) is next in line to challenge UFC middleweight champion Adesanya (19-0 MMA, 8-0 UFC), but it looks as though the pair will coach “The Ultimate Fighter” reality series first.
Though no official announcement have been made for the revived version of the show, which last aired in 2018, Albarracin said he’s excited by the potential. Costa’s coach is confident the opportunity would help take the rivalry to the next level, resulting in a barnburner of a title fight.
“That’s gonna be the greatest ‘Ultimate Fighter’ in history, if not the greatest middleweight title fight in history,” Albarracin told MMA Junkie Radio. “Because ‘The Eraser’ Paulo Costa, ‘Borrachinha’ (is) 13-0, 12 knockouts vs. ‘The Last Stylebender’ 19-0, we all know he’s the 185-pound champ, we all know they’re at each other’s throats.
“He called him Ricky Martin in Australia and I always say, ‘Yeah, he looks like Ricky Martin but he hits like Mike Tyson.’ I can’t wait to see these guys (coach) a whole season. Who’s not gonna want to watch that? These guys at each other’s throats. By the end of the season, it’s gonna be a level 10 type of intensity between those guys.”
It’s no secret that Costa and Adesanya aren’t fond of each other. The two continuously traded barbs for some time. Costa was front row in Melbourne, Australia, when Adesanya unified the middleweight titles with a knockout of Robert Whittaker last October. But after Costa suffered a bicep injury, Adesanya ended up facing Yoel Romero in his most recent defense.
Adesanya beat Romero in a rather uneventful affair at UFC 248 in March and Costa made sure to let him know about it. The fight between Costa and Adesanya has been brewing for almost a year now, and Albarracin thinks a season of “TUF” would only spark things up even more.
Now it remains to be seen if the UFC gives the green light to reviving the series which has been an instrumental part of the company’s history and success.