It’s been more than six weeks since Israel Adesanya knocked out Paulo Costa at UFC 253 on “Fight Island” to retain his Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Middleweight title. The loss, however, still stings for “The Eraser,” who says in hindsight he should have postponed the bout.
That’s because the hulking Brazilian wasn’t at full speed come fight night, revealing recently that his leg was “impaired,” therefore preventing him from executing his complete gameplan.
“Maybe I could have used more in the Adesanya fight, but many things happened before that fight,” Costa said in a video his posted on his official YouTube channel (via MMA Fighting). “I don’t like to talk because it might sound as excuse, but I had no sleep, my leg was totally impaired, and I shouldn’t have fought, I should have postponed it for the next weekend or more.”
According to Costa, every fighter has the right to pull out if they don’t feel well the day of the fight, which is what he should have done.
“I saw what happened with Patricky [Freire], who fights for Bellator — and has the same coach, Eric Albarracin — and his team did the right thing. He didn’t wake up well, had labyrinthitis on the day of the fight, feeling dizzy, [so] he doesn’t have to fight. We’re in such a high level that you don’t have to fight if you don’t feel well. It was our mistake.”
Costa immediately started campaigning for a rematch following the loss, though those calls fell on deaf ears.
Adesanya will now move up to Light Heavyweight to try and claim that title sometime in 2021, which will give Costa time to get a win on his resume to get another crack at the title. If it were up to “The Eraser,” that fight would be against Robert Whittaker. And though “The Reaper” recently shot down that idea, Costa says that fight is “in the works.”