An unbeaten Paulo Costa entered the Octagon in UFC Fight Island at UFC 253 in September 2020. He was 13-0 in his MMA career prior to the fight and had demolished all of his previous opponents. In his path stood another unbeaten fighter who was also the middleweight champion – Israel Adesanya.
Israel Adesanya made light work of the Brazilian, as he cruised to a second-round knockout victory, handing Costa his first-ever loss. That was Adesanya’s second successful middleweight title defense.
Costa, who has not fought since that loss, opened up on his defeat, almost 6 months after UFC 253. He claimed that he was drunk the night before, since he was struggling to get sleep. Things took a turn for the worse as he ended up being drunk and sleepless. In a recent interview with Brett Okamoto of ESPN, Costa once again brought up his struggle the night before the fight. He still seemed to be reeling from the loss, especially because of the fact that he has not fought even once since that night.
“I had a lot of cramps and I had a lot of problems trying to sleep” – Paulo Costa
Costa was quoted as saying, “I trained more than is recommended after a weight cut and I think this made a lot of problems in my body. I had a lot of cramps and I had a lot of problems trying to sleep. After the physical therapist stepped out of my room, I went to my bed but couldn’t fall asleep. I tried melatonin, but it didn’t work. Sometimes I will use one cup of wine when I feel a lot of stress, it’s helped me a little bit, but just one cup, when I have time to put it out of my body. But it was too late. I was desperate to fall asleep.” [via MMA Mania]
Paulo Costa is currently 13-1 in his MMA career. He hasn’t fought since that Adesanya fight, and is set to take on Marvin Vettori in the main event of UFC Fight Night 196 – October 23, 2021. A win might probably earn Costa a rematch against Adesanya, or against the one who wins Adesanya vs Robert Whittaker 2.
As for Adesanya, he is currently set to face Robert Whittaker in a rematch, with the date and venue yet to be announced. He is coming off a win over Costa’s next opponent Vettori at UFC 263, after beating the Italian via. unanimous decision.