Dana White: Although Paulo Costa Was in “Shape”, Run at Middleweight is Over
By FCF Staff
Although Paulo Costa talked about fighting for the middleweight title again, leading up to UFC Vegas 41, Dana White says that’s not going to happen.
Costa battled Marvin Vettori in the card’s headliner on Saturday, and ended up losing the instant classic via decision. The bout was originally scheduled to take place at middleweight.
But, after Costa revealed last week he weighed over 210 pounds, and that he wasn’t cutting down to 185, the fight ultimately took place at light heavyweight.
Following Vettori’s win, White made it clear the promotion views Costa as a light heavyweight moving forward (quote via MMA Junkie).
“We absolutely tell you where to fight when this happens,” the UFC President said about Costa. “He’s gonna have to fight at 205.”
During fight week, Costa’s admission about his weight prompted speculation an injury may have compromised his training camp and conditioning.
But, White believes Costa’s performance in the five-round war shows he was in shape.
Again, you have to give all the credit to Vettori,” White said. “He was willing to fight at any weight and didn’t let this stuff mess with his head. At the end of the day, it’s all about the fight. They both fought their ass off. 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 that heavy, you have to question whether he’s in shape or not. He was in shape.”
Costa (13-2) was fighting for the first time since September, 2020, when he was stopped by middleweight champion Israel Adesanya.