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UFC middleweight champ Israel Adesanya and his next opponent Paulo Costa had a hilarious exchange after they ran into each other in Abu Dhabi, despite their previous bad blood.
Captured on video, the rivals were in great spirits as Adesanya patted Costa and said he looked "skinny" at the weight. The unbeaten challenger replied: "I look lean, never skinny!"
The Last Stylebender advised, "Stay skinny!" and gestured to his own slender arm, before they warmly departed. This despite Costa claiming he wanted to kill Adesanya last a month ago.
The meeting caused a big reaction on social media as fans speculated that the ill-feeling between the pair in the buildup to next weekend's massive UFC 253 showdown may be slightly exaggerated in order to hype the contest.
Some claimed Dana White would be fuming, while others appreciated seeing the mutual respect.
The supposed feud between the pair, who both boast undefeated records in MMA, comes partly from Adesanya hinting that 'The Eraser' may not be entirely natural in his training methods.
"The dirtiest fighter in the sport? There's a few," the champion said in an interview earlier in September.
"Even the guy I'm fighting next, I'm going to pop him before USADA does. He definitely has got some extra supplements south of the border he takes.
"He even came out to say he hasn't been tested! I just got tested last night. I don't understand the stress it does to cheat."
Brazilian Costa has mocked such accusations in the past, calling the charismatic Nigerian-born Kiwi "Runnersanya" for the negative fighting style he's employed at times.
Expect the buildup to a stacked UFC 253 card to ramp up this week. But will we see Adesanya and Costa clashing over PEDs and fighting styles? Or will the two be joking and slapping each other on the back as the greatest new bromance in UFC accelerates?
So long as they choose striking rather than hugging in the Octagon next weekend, fans can probably cope either way.
Featured image credit: ESPN/UFC
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