Aotearoa takes over the octagon again in UFC 253

By Mana Wikaire-Lewis

UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya won't be going alone when he fights Paulo Costa in their much-anticipated match at UFC 253. In fact, he's bringing three of his good friends from City Kickboxing along to strap up and dance inside the octagon as well: Kaiwhare Kara-France, Brad Riddell and Shane Young.

New Zealand takes over UFC. Source: facebook.com/ufc

Kara-France & Riddell will be having their first fights since they had hometown victories back in February at UFC Auckland, where Kara-France beat opponent Tyson Nam by unanimous decision and Riddell took a split decision win over Magomed Mustafaev. The two warriors haven't stopped training since Covid-19 has hit Aotearoa. With just over a month away till their next respective bouts, these two couldn't be more excited. 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

It’s been a minute! 😏🇳🇿 #6weeksout #ckbtakeover

A post shared by Kai "Dontblink" Kara France (@kaikarafrance) on

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Much Aroha New Zealand and thank you for your Mana .

A post shared by BradQuakeCity (@bradquakeriddell) on

More notable is the re-emergence of Shane Young who hasn't fought inside the octagon since UFC 234 back in February last year. Since then the Maraenui-born native who has taken Te Reo Māori to the world has also become a father recently. With just six weeks to go, the featherweight will be pulling out all the stops to bring the victory back for his whānau against Nate "The Train" Landwehr.

Leading the charge, "The Last Stylebender" has been feuding with his opponent Paulo Costa for two long years. There have been twitter wars and Instagram jabs and these two undefeated warriors simply don't like each other, Costa said recently. 

“Even after I knock him out, I will not shake his hand,” Costa told MMA Junkie. “It will be wild. It will be savage. I believe in the second round (I will knock him out) because he will run a lot in the first round.”

The cover star of the latest videogame EA Sports UFC 4 has just thrown his latest shot as well at Costa.

 

Both fighters are undefeated and they have a mutual disdain for each other. This will come to a head on September 27.

Adesanya & Costa finally dance. Source: facebook.com/ufc