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Israel Adesanya reacts to Sean Strickland’s UFC 302 win: ‘Costa sucks off the back foot’

Israel Adesanya had a close eye on former foes Sean Strickland and Paulo Costa’s fight at UFC 302.

Strickland (29-6 MMA, 16-6 UFC) defeated Costa (14-4 MMA, 6-4 UFC) by split decision in this past Saturday’s five-round co-main event at Prudential Center in Newark, N.J. – an outcome Adesanya accurately predicted.

Adesanya (24-3 MMA, 13-3 UFC), who’s the only fighter to ever finish Costa, pointed out a deficiency in the Brazilian’s game which allowed Strickland to find eventual success in the fight.

“Costa sucks off the back foot. He’s not really good off the back foot,” Adesanya reacted on his YouTube channel. “He’s doing better in this fight. Costa could set him up so bad here, man, because (Strickland is) so worried about that leg.”

In his most recent fight, Adesanya lost the middleweight title to Strickland at UFC 293. Strickland pointed the finger at Costa for their disappointing fight which drew boos from the crowd, but Adesanya says Strickland is tougher to deal with than people think.

“It’s easier said than done (to stand your ground vs. Strickland), I’ll tell you that,” Adesanya said. “But if you’ve worked on it, you know how to do it.”

Strickland wound up losing his middleweight title to Dricus Du Plessis at UFC 297, before rebounding against Costa. Adesanya is expected to be Du Plessis’ next title challenger.

For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC 302.

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UFC Paulo Costa first pitch Mets Game

UFC Paulo Costa first pitch Mets Game

May 28, 2024; New York, NY, USA; UFC wrestler Paulo Costa the Eraser throws the first…

May 28, 2024; New York, NY, USA; UFC wrestler Paulo Costa the Eraser throws the first pitch before the game between the New York Mets and the Los Angeles Dodgersat Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

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Sean Strickland vs. Paulo Costa

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NEWARK, NEW JERSEY - MAY 31: Paulo Costa is introduced during the UFC 302 Ceremonial Weigh-in…

NEWARK, NEW JERSEY - MAY 31: Paulo Costa is introduced during the UFC 302 Ceremonial Weigh-in at Prudential Center on May 31, 2024 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Luke Hales/Getty Images)

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NEWARK, NEW JERSEY - MAY 31: Paulo Costa weighs in during the UFC 302 Ceremonial Weigh-in…

NEWARK, NEW JERSEY - MAY 31: Paulo Costa weighs in during the UFC 302 Ceremonial Weigh-in at Prudential Center on May 31, 2024 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Luke Hales/Getty Images)

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Paulo Costa UFC 302 ceremonial weigh-ins

NEWARK, NEW JERSEY - MAY 31: Paulo Costa weighs in during the UFC 302 Ceremonial Weigh-in…

NEWARK, NEW JERSEY - MAY 31: Paulo Costa weighs in during the UFC 302 Ceremonial Weigh-in at Prudential Center on May 31, 2024 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Luke Hales/Getty Images)

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Sean Strickland UFC 302 ceremonial weigh-ins

NEWARK, NEW JERSEY - MAY 31: Sean Strickland is introduced during the UFC 302 Ceremonial Weigh-in…

NEWARK, NEW JERSEY - MAY 31: Sean Strickland is introduced during the UFC 302 Ceremonial Weigh-in at Prudential Center on May 31, 2024 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Luke Hales/Getty Images)

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Sean Strickland UFC 302 ceremonial weigh-ins

NEWARK, NEW JERSEY - MAY 31: Sean Strickland is introduced during the UFC 302 Ceremonial Weigh-in…

NEWARK, NEW JERSEY - MAY 31: Sean Strickland is introduced during the UFC 302 Ceremonial Weigh-in at Prudential Center on May 31, 2024 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Luke Hales/Getty Images)

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NEWARK, NEW JERSEY - MAY 31: (L-R) Sean Strickland faces off with Paulo Costa during the…

NEWARK, NEW JERSEY - MAY 31: (L-R) Sean Strickland faces off with Paulo Costa during the UFC 302 Ceremonial Weigh-in at Prudential Center on May 31, 2024 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Luke Hales/Getty Images)

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MMA: UFC 302-Strickland vs Costa

Jun 1, 2024; Newark, New Jersey, USA; Sean Strickland (red gloves) fights Paulo Costa (blue gloves)…

Jun 1, 2024; Newark, New Jersey, USA; Sean Strickland (red gloves) fights Paulo Costa (blue gloves) during UFC 302 at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

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MMA: UFC 302-Strickland vs Costa

Jun 1, 2024; Newark, New Jersey, USA; Sean Strickland (red gloves) fights Paulo Costa (blue gloves)…

Jun 1, 2024; Newark, New Jersey, USA; Sean Strickland (red gloves) fights Paulo Costa (blue gloves) during UFC 302 at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

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MMA: UFC 302-Strickland vs Costa

Jun 1, 2024; Newark, New Jersey, USA; Sean Strickland (red gloves) fights Paulo Costa (blue gloves)…

Jun 1, 2024; Newark, New Jersey, USA; Sean Strickland (red gloves) fights Paulo Costa (blue gloves) during UFC 302 at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

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MMA: UFC 302-Strickland vs Costa

Jun 1, 2024; Newark, New Jersey, USA; Sean Strickland (red gloves) fights Paulo Costa (blue gloves)…

Jun 1, 2024; Newark, New Jersey, USA; Sean Strickland (red gloves) fights Paulo Costa (blue gloves) during UFC 302 at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

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MMA: UFC 302-Strickland vs Costa

Jun 1, 2024; Newark, New Jersey, USA; Sean Strickland (red gloves) fights Paulo Costa (blue gloves)…

Jun 1, 2024; Newark, New Jersey, USA; Sean Strickland (red gloves) fights Paulo Costa (blue gloves) during UFC 302 at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

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MMA: UFC 302-Strickland vs Costa

Jun 1, 2024; Newark, New Jersey, USA; Sean Strickland (red gloves) fights Paulo Costa (blue gloves)…

Jun 1, 2024; Newark, New Jersey, USA; Sean Strickland (red gloves) fights Paulo Costa (blue gloves) during UFC 302 at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

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MMA: UFC 302-Strickland vs Costa

Jun 1, 2024; Newark, New Jersey, USA; Sean Strickland (red gloves) fights Paulo Costa (blue gloves)…

Jun 1, 2024; Newark, New Jersey, USA; Sean Strickland (red gloves) fights Paulo Costa (blue gloves) during UFC 302 at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

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MMA: UFC 302-Strickland vs Costa

Jun 1, 2024; Newark, New Jersey, USA; Sean Strickland (red gloves) fights Paulo Costa (blue gloves)…

Jun 1, 2024; Newark, New Jersey, USA; Sean Strickland (red gloves) fights Paulo Costa (blue gloves) during UFC 302 at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

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MMA: UFC 302-Strickland vs Costa

Jun 1, 2024; Newark, New Jersey, USA; Sean Strickland (red gloves) fights Paulo Costa (blue gloves)…

Jun 1, 2024; Newark, New Jersey, USA; Sean Strickland (red gloves) fights Paulo Costa (blue gloves) during UFC 302 at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

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MMA: UFC 302-Strickland vs Costa

Jun 1, 2024; Newark, New Jersey, USA; Sean Strickland (red gloves) fights Paulo Costa (blue gloves)…

Jun 1, 2024; Newark, New Jersey, USA; Sean Strickland (red gloves) fights Paulo Costa (blue gloves) during UFC 302 at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

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MMA: UFC 302-Strickland vs Costa

Jun 1, 2024; Newark, New Jersey, USA; Sean Strickland (red gloves) fights Paulo Costa (blue gloves)…

Jun 1, 2024; Newark, New Jersey, USA; Sean Strickland (red gloves) fights Paulo Costa (blue gloves) during UFC 302 at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

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MMA: UFC 302-Strickland vs Costa

Jun 1, 2024; Newark, New Jersey, USA; Sean Strickland (red gloves) fights Paulo Costa (blue gloves)…

Jun 1, 2024; Newark, New Jersey, USA; Sean Strickland (red gloves) fights Paulo Costa (blue gloves) during UFC 302 at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

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MMA: UFC 302-Strickland vs Costa

Jun 1, 2024; Newark, New Jersey, USA; Sean Strickland (red gloves) fights Paulo Costa (blue gloves)…

Jun 1, 2024; Newark, New Jersey, USA; Sean Strickland (red gloves) fights Paulo Costa (blue gloves) during UFC 302 at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

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Sean Strickland def. Paulo Costa, UFC 302 1

(Photo via UFC)

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MMA: UFC 302-Strickland vs Costa

Jun 1, 2024; Newark, New Jersey, USA; Sean Strickland (red gloves) fights Paulo Costa (blue gloves)…

Jun 1, 2024; Newark, New Jersey, USA; Sean Strickland (red gloves) fights Paulo Costa (blue gloves) during UFC 302 at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

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MMA: UFC 302-Strickland vs Costa

Jun 1, 2024; Newark, New Jersey, USA; Sean Strickland (red gloves) fights Paulo Costa (blue gloves)…

Jun 1, 2024; Newark, New Jersey, USA; Sean Strickland (red gloves) fights Paulo Costa (blue gloves) during UFC 302 at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

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MMA: UFC 302-Strickland vs Costa

Jun 1, 2024; Newark, New Jersey, USA; Sean Strickland (red gloves) fights Paulo Costa (blue gloves)…

Jun 1, 2024; Newark, New Jersey, USA; Sean Strickland (red gloves) fights Paulo Costa (blue gloves) during UFC 302 at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

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MMA: UFC 302-Strickland vs Costa

Jun 1, 2024; Newark, New Jersey, USA; Sean Strickland (red gloves) fights Paulo Costa (blue gloves)…

Jun 1, 2024; Newark, New Jersey, USA; Sean Strickland (red gloves) fights Paulo Costa (blue gloves) during UFC 302 at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

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MMA: UFC 302-Strickland vs Costa

Jun 1, 2024; Newark, New Jersey, USA; Sean Strickland (red gloves) fights Paulo Costa (blue gloves)…

Jun 1, 2024; Newark, New Jersey, USA; Sean Strickland (red gloves) fights Paulo Costa (blue gloves) during UFC 302 at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

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MMA: UFC 302-Strickland vs Costa

Jun 1, 2024; Newark, New Jersey, USA; Sean Strickland (red gloves) fights Paulo Costa (blue gloves)…

Jun 1, 2024; Newark, New Jersey, USA; Sean Strickland (red gloves) fights Paulo Costa (blue gloves) during UFC 302 at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

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MMA: UFC 302-Strickland vs Costa

Jun 1, 2024; Newark, New Jersey, USA; Sean Strickland (red gloves) fights Paulo Costa (blue gloves)…

Jun 1, 2024; Newark, New Jersey, USA; Sean Strickland (red gloves) fights Paulo Costa (blue gloves) during UFC 302 at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

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MMA: UFC 302-Strickland vs Costa

Jun 1, 2024; Newark, New Jersey, USA; Sean Strickland (red gloves) fights Paulo Costa (blue gloves)…

Jun 1, 2024; Newark, New Jersey, USA; Sean Strickland (red gloves) fights Paulo Costa (blue gloves) during UFC 302 at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

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MMA: UFC 302-Strickland vs Costa

Jun 1, 2024; Newark, New Jersey, USA; Sean Strickland (red gloves) fights Paulo Costa (blue gloves)…

Jun 1, 2024; Newark, New Jersey, USA; Sean Strickland (red gloves) fights Paulo Costa (blue gloves) during UFC 302 at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

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MMA: UFC 302-Strickland vs Costa

Jun 1, 2024; Newark, New Jersey, USA; Sean Strickland (red gloves) fights Paulo Costa (blue gloves)…

Jun 1, 2024; Newark, New Jersey, USA; Sean Strickland (red gloves) fights Paulo Costa (blue gloves) during UFC 302 at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

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MMA: UFC 302-Strickland vs Costa

Jun 1, 2024; Newark, New Jersey, USA; Sean Strickland (red gloves) celebrates after the fight against…

Jun 1, 2024; Newark, New Jersey, USA; Sean Strickland (red gloves) celebrates after the fight against Paulo Costa (blue gloves) during UFC 302 at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

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Sean Strickland def Paulo Costa UFC 302

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Sean Strickland def. Paulo Costa, UFC 302 Scorecard

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Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie