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Still-cocky Paulo Costa reveals ‘problems’ (not excuses) at UFC 253, vows to win ‘Stylebender’ rematch

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“I’m not here to make excuse, but something happened.”

UFC President Dana White was baffled by Paulo Costa’s “weird” performance at UFC 253, simply because the Brazilian did not perform in his usual bull-like manner against reigning middleweight champion and bitter rival Israel Adesanya.

“It was weird because if you look at every other fight that Costa has had, he comes out and goes after people like they owe him money,” White said during the UFC 253 post-fight press conference (via MMA Junkie). “I think he landed one jab in this fight. He didn’t try to clinch on the fence, didn’t try to put pressure, kept going back to the center of the Octagon. It was very weird.”

Turns out “The Eraser” had some “problems” at last weekend’s pay-per-view (PPV) event in Abu Dhabi. One of those problems was getting punched in the face repeatedly by “The Last Stylebender” en route to a second-round technical knockout loss (highlights here).

“Thank you all the haters too for the messages,” Costa said on social media (via MMA Fighting). “To my friends, and also those who aren’t — but especially my friends and those who cheer for me — don’t worry, I’m fine. I already know what happened, I know what was done wrong, and it won’t happen next time. I won’t keep waiting. Some things happened, I had some problems but I won’t give any excuses, okay? The fight is over, he won, but I guarantee you that the next one will be different. Next time I meet him, if he continues the champion, it will be different.”

Adesanya is expected to face middleweight bruiser Jared Cannonier if “Killa Gorilla” can outlast Robert Whittaker in the UFC 254 co-main event next month on “Fight Island,” or perhaps even Jack Hermansson if “The Joker” prevails against Darren Till.

Costa wants his name added to that list.

“I will fight him again sooner and he knows,” the Brazilian said. “I will bring back with all my weapons, okay? There are a lot of people saying things they don’t know about on YouTube. Don’t worry, I know exactly what happened. We spoke with the whole team, we know what happened. Only we know what happened. Don’t worry, we’re focused here. We’ll bring the belt to Brazil. It will happen, whether you like it or not. Nothing changes. Only the ‘when’ changes. It would be now, but will be soon.”

Perhaps Costa can start with the loser of Cannonier-Whittaker or Hermansson-Till.