It seems like UFC President Dana White views Paulo Costa as a different fighter altogether after Costa’s fight with Marvin Vettori, a fighter for the light-heavyweight division. White confirmed in the post-event media scrum of UFC Vegas 41 that Costa has to leave the middleweight division and has to move up to the light-heavyweight following the chaotic turn of events that were fueled by his weight cutting problems that bumped the official middleweight main event up by a weight class.
Costa lost to his opponent Marvin Vettori via unanimous decision at UFC Vegas 41. This fight that was contracted to be a middleweight bout ended up being a light-heavyweight. Initially, at fight week, Costa declared his weight to be 26 pounds over the official scale of 185-186 pounds limit for middleweights. This fight was then rescheduled to be a catchweight bout at 195-pounds, but unfortunately for Costa, he couldn’t make that weight too and eventually the fight ended up being at 205-pounds for weigh-ins.
Was Dana White mad at Paulo Costa for missing weight initially?
In all fairness, Dana White handled the Paulo Costa questions with calmness. Despite the chaos because of Costa, the fight happened nonetheless, thanks to the cooperation of Marvin Vettori. White surprisingly started with praising Costa for his endurance throughout the five rounds. Just like many, he too found Costa performing better at round 5 than the first round.
On Costa’s future as a fighter, White was certain that there’s no room for him fighting back at middleweight considering how huge is Costa. “We absolutely tell you where to fight when this happens, he’s going to have to fight at 205.” We get to know that even White has no idea why Costa came out overweight from the initial 185-186 pounds. “Did he do it on purpose, did he try to show overweight and try to, I mean who knows. He says he was going to tell you guys after the fight [but] umm… I don’t know.”
But regardless, Costa impressed White even after losing the fight. “When a guy comes out overweight, you question whether he is in shape or not, but he seemed to be in shape,” said White. “I thought he was done, he got stronger as the fight went on, he stayed in there, he continued to you umm he was throwing kicks all night, the kicks to the head kicks to the body, and he came out in a fifth-round and tried to finish Vettori…more credits to Vettori, he took everything that Costa had in that fifth round.”
Paulo Costa seems suitable for light-heavyweight, the question is how he is going to do up a weight class that is 20-pounds heavier from where he originally fought for the title. The competition at light-heavyweight is beyond expectations and the current champion Jan Blachowicz seems to be improving in his skillset exponentially! But would Costa be able to run over the light-heavyweights just like he used to do with middleweights? Only time and destiny will tell.