Paulo Costa provided insight into what caused the fight week weight class changes ahead of his fight on Saturday against Marvin Vettori.
In the days leading up to UFC Fight Night 196, the main event bout which was originally set to take place at middleweight, ended up being a light heavyweight fight after Costa (13-2 MMA, 5-2 UFC) requested multiple changes during the week.
Earlier in the week, Costa said he would talk about why he couldn’t make 185 pounds after the fight, and made good on that promise.
“The only problem, my friend, is that I lost the fight, so it will look like an excuse,” Costa told MMA Junkie during the post-fight news conference. “I do not have an excuse for nothing. I did a good job there, Marvin as well. Congratulations for him and to me, I think, but I had some problems to not come in here with my usual weight. I came at a little bit higher weight because I needed to stop some weeks of training.”
When asked to clarify if it was a specific injury that led to him taking time away from training, Costa looked at his arm and simply replied, “My left bicep.”
Ultimately, Costa and Vettori (18-4-1 MMA, 8-3-1 UFC) made it to the cage and created an amazing main event on Saturday evening, despite the change from 185 to 205 pounds. Vettori emerged victorious by unanimous decision, which was something that perplexed the Brazilian as he assessed the damage sustained in the fight.
“Physically I’m good, but my foot is a balloon,” Costa said as he showed off the swelling on his right foot. “I kicked him a lot on his body, on his head. I think maybe his left arm should be very hurt and his body as well. I don’t really understand why the judges saw that result. I really believe I won.”
Costa was docked a point by referee Jason Herzog in the second round after an eye poke caused a pause in the action. Herzog did verbally warn Costa to watch his fingers in the first round, and after a poke occurred in the second, he took a point.
“He’s a very good referee,” Costa said. “I don’t understand why he took one point from me on the very first stoppage. …I really don’t understand that.”
While Costa walks away with his second-straight loss, his biggest concern going forward may be with which weight class he will be fighting at the next time he competes. According to UFC president Dana White, that is already decided, as the boss said he will be competing at 205 pounds, following the events that unfolded this week.