ISRAEL ADESANYA was blasted in a scathing attack by opponent Paulo Costa who jibed “his best skill is running away”.
The MMA stars continued their war of words ahead of their headline fight at UFC 253 on September 26.
Neither man pulled any punches with their verbal blows as a heated exchange got fans excited for their clash which is expected to be held on Fight Island in just over a month.
Costa made it clear he was not impressed by Adesanya’s showing in his last fight – a cagey points win against Yoel Romero in March.
Costa told ESPN: “I really think he has good skills.
“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 Romero.”
But Adesanya hit back labelling Costa a “big, inflated ignoramus”.
The 31-year-old from New Zealand told ESPN: “He’s dumb. He’s dumb and he walks forward and he throws shots.
“That’s what makes it really exciting, and that’s what I’m looking forward to.
“I’m looking forward to this big, inflated ignoramus, running up on me, trying to throw shots as I keep moving and sticking him.”
The Kiwi went on to blast Costa’s fighting CV.
He added: “The only people he ever beat that are worthy of anything as two guys that are ranked, that was Uriah Hall and Romero.
“Who else has he beat that’s ranked? Who else has he beat? I can list you four guys that I have, so you have to understand there’s levels to this.
“Like I said, he’s dumb. But that’s what makes him dangerous, as well, because he’s not scared to walk forward and just throw, and he’s strong.
“But the same thing happens when they step in the cage with me.
“When they see me, they feel me.
“They say, ‘Oh my God – he’s a lot stronger than I thought. Oh my God – he’s a lot bigger than I thought.'”
Adesanya could set up a colossal clash with UFC great Jon Jones with a win in the octagon against Costa.
He previously fought at heavyweight in his kickboxing career.
And Adesanya said he was “100 per cent” adamant that he would step up to fight Jones in the top weight division.