There’s usually a pretty solid amount of unity between Brazilian Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) fighters, but Jose Aldo couldn’t help but express his disappointment in Paulo Costa after “The Eraser” showed up for his last fight a whole weight class up from the contract he signed.
Costa was set to fight Marvin Vettori at 185 pounds last month. You know, the weight both men are title contenders at. Instead, Costa arrived on fight week vastly overweight and the fight was eventually contested at Light Heavyweight. Vettori went on to win a decision, and Costa went on to blame the botched cut on a biceps injury.
“If I were the promoter, I’d be very pissed,” Aldo said in a podcast interview with MMA Fighting. “There’s no way you come talk to me tomorrow and ask for a pay raise if you can’t even fulfill your contract, right? I see that a lot these days. I see young fighters in the UFC that sometimes don’t fulfill what’s in their deals. If you sign an eight-fight contract making X, man, you’ll make X during those eight fights, you can’t, after three fights… Or fight for the belt, get a title shot, and then you can say, ‘I deserve to make more because I’m doing this, this and this,’ and show the numbers.
“But, to go there and not even make weight, that’s lack of respect,” Aldo continued. “If you can’t [make weight], if it’s tough, move up a division. I say for myself. How many times I got real bad, Dede thinking about calling the doctor to [cancel] the fight and I said no, I always had to make weight and honor what I said. I would make weight no matter how. I got there dragged or carried, it doesn’t matter, but I made weight. I never left the UFC wondering whether or not I would make weight. With all the work, the exhaustion I had to make featherweight, I always went there and did it. I never lacked respect to my opponent, to fans or anyone else.”
Aldo used to struggle to make Featherweight, often showing up on the scale looking grey and corpse-like. Those were the days before the mixed martial arts (MMA) scene had dedicated nutritionists who knew what they were doing. Now, Aldo shows up for fights at 135 pounds looking gaunt but energetic. But, you know those cuts can’t be fun.
As for how to get your worth from UFC? In Aldo’s mind, it’s simple: just be the champ.
“If he had beat Adesanya, then he could have gotten to the UFC and said, ‘I want a contract, a champion’s contract,’ and put the number on the table,” Aldo said. “But the moment you only do a few fights, even if you’re winning and knocking [people] out, that doesn’t explain anything.
“Every time I sat down with Dana and Lorenzo [Fertitta] we always asked [for it] with that in mind,” he concluded. “I was the champion, I had a legion of fans in Brazil, both myself and Anderson [Silva] has big names and we deserved it. Every time I got there to talk to Dana, and Dana always defended the side of the company, of course, Dana and Lorenzo always agreed and got to the numbers we wanted. But, first and foremost, I had to do it in the fight. I fought the fight and then sat down with them.”
To check out complete UFC Vegas 41: “Costa vs. Vettori” results, including play-by-play coverage, click here.