Israel Adesanya knows a lot can be learned about an opponent simply by gauging their energy.
The UFC middleweight champion has often spoken about getting a read on his opponents whenever possible during a fight week – usually coming when the two face off.
Ahead of his title defence against Brazil's Paulo Costa on Sunday in Abu Dhabi, Adesanya didn't have to wait until face-offs to get a read on his opponent.
The two crossed paths in a hallway of their hotel and stopped for a brief conversation and shook hands. For a fight that has been promoted as two guys who simply do not like each other, the friendly interaction surprised some fans.
But as Adesanya recalls, there was more to it than shown on video.
"I went there, sized him up, patted him on the shoulders to feel how dense he is, I shook his hand because I wanted to feel the kind of pressure he put on for someone who said 'I will not shake his hand when I beat him'.
"Someone that you've been barking at behind the fence, when you see them – I've never barked at him, I've just always responded – but he's always reacted to me. When he saw me in real life, what did he do? He submitted to me.
"He's insecure. That's why we're fighting each other; he was trying to make this whole narrative and always trying to clutch at straws because he was to create something. I'm like 'f*** it, I don't like you'. At least I'm honest about it."
Adesanya (19-0; 8-0 UFC) and Costa (13-0; 5-0 UFC) will meet in the main event at UFC 253 on Sunday (NZ time) in just the second men's title fight to feature two unbeaten athletes in the history of the UFC.
Despite their respective records, Adesanya said the bout is not as big a deal as it is being made out to be and, for him, it was just another day in the office.
"I think the muscles fool everyone," he said. "The muscles and the flurries, and fighting punching bags fool everyone."
Costa has torn through almost every opponent he has faced since making his UFC debut in 2017, needing to go to the judges' scorecards just once. Sunday will be his first five-round main event in the UFC. However, as Adesanya told media this week, Costa has not fought the highest calibre of fighters in the UFC division.
The 29-year-old Brazilian has fought just two ranked opponents – Yoel Romero and Uriah Hall, currently No. 5 and 10 respectively. In comparison, of Adesanya's eight fights in the UFC, six of his foes are ranked in the division's top 15.
"His resume doesn't hold up enough," Adesanya said when asked if this was the biggest title fight in the history of the middleweight division.
"Everyone's like 'this is the biggest fight', but I'm like nah, I've already had the [best] fight of the middleweight division, which was against Kelvin Gastelum, I've already had the biggest fight of the division against Robert Whittaker and got a badass knockout.
"This fight is just going to be a showcase; I'm going to make it look easy – a lot of people are going to be shocked by that."
Israel Adesanya v Paulo Costa tale of the tape
Age: 31 || 29
Record: 19-0 (14 KO/TKO) || 13-0 (11 KO/TKO)
Reach: 203cm || 183cm
Height: 193cm || 185cm