Eric Albarracin says his star pupil, upcoming UFC middleweight title challenger Paulo Costa, still wants to fight Jon Jones in the future.
Costa is set to challenge Israel Adesanya for the UFC middleweight title in the main event of UFC 253 on September 26. Speaking to ESPN recently, Albarracin expressed his confidence that Costa will win that title fight, and also suggested that Costa could move up to the light heavyweight division in search of a fight with Jones thereafter.
“I would say that the initial goal, the main goal right now is going after Israel Adesanya, getting that belt,” Albarracin (via Essentially Sports). “We got him figured out. We got his whole team figured out. I know what Volkanovski’s game is. I know Israel Adesanya’s game, Dan Hooker’s game. We got them figured out to a T. On September 26th Paulo Costa will erase Israel Adesanya. Then don’t be surprised if we’re going after that 205 belt either. Jon Jones can run but he can’t hide.”
Jon Jones, of course, recently vacated the light heavyweight title in anticipation of a division-change of his own. After a long-time reign as the UFC light heavyweight champion, he’s now planning to move up to heavyweight in search of glory in a second weight class.
That being said, a future light heavyweight fight between Jones and Costa is certainly a possibility, particularly if Costa defeats Adesanya at UFC 253. Jones has previously floated with the idea of a fight with Adesanya, and would probably entertain a fight with Costa if the Brazilian can continue his winning ways.
First, however, Costa will need to topple Adesanya. He seems quite confident that he’ll be able to do so.
“I really think he has good skills,” Costa told ESPN of Adesanya recently. “His best skill is running away – avoid the fight. He’s very good at that – very good when he wants to do that. I tried to ask him why he just stood when he faced Romero. The only thing more disturbing than his hair was his fight against [Yoel] Romero.”
Does a future fight between Paulo Costa and Jon Jones interest you?