Paulo Costa fight pull-outs: Know about UFC’s Brazilian star causing troubles outside the octagon

Paulo Costa has a bad reputation among the MMA community. Learn how many times the Brazilian has pulled out of a bout or the bout faced cancellations.


Paulo Costa fight pull-outs: Know about UFC’s Brazilian star causing troubles outside the octagon

Paulo Costa has had many pull-outs in his career (Source: Twitter/IMAGO)

Combat sports aren’t the kind of job or grind where one can just call in sick and pull out. Not for Paulo Costa though; the Brazilian middleweight has a habitual strain of pulling out of his bouts. A habit that has earned him the moniker of “Pullout Costa.” Paulo Costa has done so for many a fight.

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Standing at 14-2 MMA, 6-2 UFC, Paulo Costa happens to be a divisional mainstay with many prominent highlights. But as his Tapology stats page would suggest, the middleweight from Brazil has an array of fight pullouts, too many to dismiss. Find out more details about the fight pull-outs of Paulo Costa.

Honorable mentions

Paulo Costa’s pull-outs started against Andre Lobato, Quemuel Ottoni, and Rodrigo Carlos. All fights were for the promotion – Jungle Fight Championship.

Paulo Costa is ready for UFC 298 and Robert Whittaker
Paulo Costa is ready for UFC 298 and Robert Whittaker (Source: Twitter)

He was offered $70,000 for a fight contract with Robert Whittaker for UFC 284 in Perth, Australia. While he never signed on to fight, fight fans consider that as a pull-out.

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#1 Alex Nicholson vs. Paulo Costa

Paulo Costa’s first UFC canceled bout came in the shape of Alex Nicholson on the UFC Fight Night 106: Belfort vs. Gastelum card. Alex Nicholson was set to meet debutant Costa. Nicholson bounced with wins and losses in the UFC.

His first cancellation came at UFC Fight Night 106 (Source: Twitter)His first cancellation came at UFC Fight Night 106
His first cancellation came at UFC Fight Night 106 (Source: Twitter)

However, Costa wasn’t at fault for a pull-out here. Nicholson dropped out. A couple of days after the announcement, it came to be that Costa, then 8-0 MMA, would instead debut against Garreth McLellan at UFC Fight Night 106. No reason was given, and it was the first fight of Costa that was canceled in the UFC.

#2 Uriah Hall vs. Paulo Costa

Costa was set to face Uriah Hall next at UFC Fight Night 128: Barboza vs. Lee. The fight saw booking at  Boardwalk Hall Arena on Sat., April 21, 2018, in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

Costa's 1st official pull out was at UFC Fight Night 128
Costa’s 1st official pullout was at UFC Fight Night 128 (Source: UFC.go.com)

‘Borrachinha,’ now 11-0, had injured his bicep and could not fight. He took to his IG account to inform fans that he has a partial bicep ligament breakage.

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However, he did bounce back big later. He finished Hall with a 2nd-round TKO at UFC 226. The knockout came at 2:38, improving his record to 12-0. At the time, all his wins came via knockout.

#3 Robert Whittaker vs. Paulo Costa

There is a reason why there’s so much angst about the Costa vs. Whittaker affair. The oft-canceled bout was to take shape twice before as well. The Brazilian middleweight was set to square off with UFC 298 rival Robert Whittaker at UFC Vegas 24‘s main event on April 17.

He wanted a bigger purse against Robert Whittaker
He wanted a bigger purse against Robert Whittaker (Source: Twitter)

He pulled out, blaming a bad flu for interrupting him from preparing and conditional resolve to fight. MMA Fighting on SBN (via Ag Fight) reported the matter first. According to official UFC listings, Costa was the #2 middleweight at the time. Kelvin Gastelum went on to fight Whittaker at the event.

#4 Jared Cannonier vs. Paulo Costa

He was set to fight Jared Cannonier on Aug. 21 at UFC Vegas 34. But then came the shocking reveal that Costa had pulled out of the main event bout.

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At the time, UFC officials quickly booked Kelvin Gastelum for the headliner. No explanation was given for Costa’s abrupt withdrawal from the fight. Conversely, the fighter did not cue in anything on his pull-out.

Paulo Costa pulled out of UFC Vegas 34 due to pay differences
Paulo Costa pulled out of UFC Vegas 34 due to pay differences (Source: Pinterest)

However, the BJJ Black Belt star later took to social media to clarify. He revealed that the headlining scrap fell through because of an unsettled fight purse. Surprisingly, though, he also announced that it was never signed off on. This practice is plaguing the fighters even today, as apparent from UFC 299’s fight-cancellation jumpscare.

#5 Ikram Aliskerov vs. Paulo Costa

Paulo Costa vs. Ikram Aliskerov was set to take form in the highly stacked UFC 291: Poirier vs. Gaethje 2 card. However, reports suggested that Paulo Costa had chosen to pull out from the fight altogether for unknown reasons. Roman Dolidze had stepped up instead for the tough 12-day short-notice face-off.

Costa was sure the bout with Ikram Aliskerov wouldn't happen
Costa was sure the bout with Ikram Aliskerov wouldn’t happen (Source: Twitter)

Later on, in a surprising turn of events, Costa divulged knowing for months before that this bout would fail to materialize. In a sitdown with Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour, Costa said that this was simply the promotion’s negotiating tactics as the two sides remained at an impasse over Costa’s new UFC contract. Costa and Aliskerov were both eventually pulled from UFC 291.

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#6 Khamzat Chimaev vs. Paulo Costa

Paulo Costa was set to face Chechen Khamzat Chimaev at UFC 294 last year. But he had to pull out due to a serious case of staph infection. Speaking to Helwani, he had voiced his resolve for the fight despite two surgeries. However, a third surgery forced him out.

Before Robert Whittaker, he pulled out last from UFC 294 due to chronic infection
Paulo Costa pulled out last from UFC 294 due to chronic infection (Source: Twitter)

Fight fans weren’t too sure about the validity of this, though. It was only later, when his girlfriend and newly anointed manager, Tamara Alves, revealed close-up snaps of his chronic infection that the matter gained traction. However, fans remain doubtful about his next bout, which is at UFC 298 in mere days.

FAQs

What is Paulo Costa’s pro-MMA record?

He is 14-2-0, 6-2-0 in UFC

How many pull-outs does Paulo Costa have in his career?

6 in UFC (10 total; twice against Robert Whittaker)

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What is Paulo Costa’s finish stat?

11 wins by KO/TKO, 1 win by Submission

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