Paulo Costa made news as he appeared for his fight with Marvin Vettori for UFC Vegas 41 fight week. Costa was unable to make it to the perfect weight limit of 185 pounds which is the limit for a middleweight UFC fight. Later he was shifted to 195 catchweight as both Costa and Vettori agreed.
Despite his amazing performance, Vettori defeated Costa during the five-round fight. Although the UFC President, DanaWhite was impressed with Costa’s performance regardless of his defeat, he believes that this was the last time that Costa was able to book for a middleweight UFC fight for the foreseeable future, while adding, “He’s a light heavyweight.”
He further said, “He was in shape. It’s not like the guy showed up out of shape, or the guy has lost his mind and wasn’t training for this fight and just showed up and was overweight. He obviously trained. He can’t make ’85. It just goes to show you that he cannot make 185 pounds.”
White also revealed that they weren’t aware of Costa’s weight problems until the first week of the fights. He also said that Costa was standing at 220 pounds while Vettori was 208 pounds during the fight night check-in before the event.
The fight was itself nail-biting as both Costa and Vettori combined a total of 386 strikes making it the fourth highest striking output in the UFC’s history. Moreover, as Costa had performed exceptionally well, WHite didn’t see any reason to punish the title-changer other than a 20% fine on commission, which is already levied to Vettori.
Moreover, White also praised Vettori for his sportsman spirit, while clearing out the air for Costa, “You have to give all the credit to Vettori. This guy was willing to fight at any weight and he didn’t let any of this stuff mess with his head. And at the end of the day, it’s all about the fight. They both fought their ass off. Costa came out and fought. Costa looked better in the fifth round than he did in the first round, so he was definitely in shape. When a guy comes in and he’s that heavy, you have to question whether he’s in shape or not. He was in shape.
“Had this thing not worked out the way that it did, he’d have been on a plane to Brazil with no money. He would’ve been put back on a plane, flown back to Brazil, and wouldn’t have made a dime on this fight. So when you talk about prizefighters that are getting money to actually get in and perform — when they perform, then he had to give up 20 percent of that. So I think that’s punishment enough, plus you guys [the media] beat him up pretty good this week too, and deservedly.”