Paulo Costa returns to the octagon after a year’s absence following his first loss to Israel Adesanya for the UFC middleweight championship. He’ll face Marvin Vettori, who’s also come up short against the champion, in a crucial fight to see who can find their way back on track towards another title shot.
However, Costa has recently announced he currently weighs, 211lbs (95kg) and he won’t make the 186lb weight limit just two days before both men are set to weigh-in. Due to this, the fight has now been changed to a catchweight of 195lbs, just so the main event of this Fight Night doesn’t fall through.
This would’ve been the 1st time Costa had missed weight and ever since that loss last September, he’s looked mentally broken. He’s made constant excuses about drinking before the fight, being the reason why he got picked apart by Adesanya, which has lead to his poor attitude going into this bout with Vettori.
Costa has always been brash and overconfident, however, now he seems lackadaisical and all of this stems from the Adesanya loss. Furthermore, I strongly believe his team plays a huge factor towards his poor attitude and behaviour. After the fight last year, Adesanya said “Costa has a team of yes men around him,” and I couldn’t agree more.
Walid Ismail, Costa’s coach, has placed him on a pedestal which Costa is still is yet to get down from. As a coach, your job is not only to coach the fighter physically, but train them mentally as well, which is clearly something Walid hasn’t done. Instead he’s fuelled his ego and made excuses for his fighter instead of rectifying the mistakes made by Costa.
Onto the fight itself. By which being at 195lbs instead of 185 helps Costa vastly, but I don’t think his conditioning is where it should be and after two rounds, I expect Costa to gas out. Vettori also has a strong chin, so I’m sure he can survive a first round bombardment from the Brazilian, then outwrestle him for another 4 rounds or maybe even find a submission.
This will be an interesting fight to watch on Saturday, and we’ll see the new excuses if Costa loses again.