Paulo Costa and Marvin Vettori settled their differences inside the Octagon. Well, that’s generally what happens after two fighters go toe-to-toe for five rounds, anyway.
The Oct. 2021 collision of former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) middleweight title challengers saw Vettori walk away with his hand raised via unanimous judges’ call (watch highlights here). The build-up during fight week made the match up all the more heated when Costa declared he wouldn’t make the 185-pound weight limit. As a result, the two agreed to fight in the 205-pound light heavyweight class.
Costa claimed in the aftermath of the bout that he’d suffered a biceps injury during camp thus leading to his weight issues (details here). That same night, UFC President, Dana White, said Costa’s time at middleweight was over.
The 30-year-old Brazilian doesn’t seem to care, however. He only wants one thing next ... a rematch.
“I just said to let Dana White know,” Costa told Ag. Fight (h/t MMA Fighting). “I’ll fight [Vettori] now. It’s the only fight that interests me. No one else interests me. Unless if it’s for the title, but I’m no fool. I’m not stupid to consider [a title fight] now. I want to fight him. He’s the only viable guy that interests me. If it’s not him, I’m not even interested in fighting. I let Dana White know that.”
UFC Vegas 41’s main event acted as the rebound attempt for both men after suffering defeats to middleweight kingpin, Israel Adesanya. Unfortunately for Costa, he now finds himself on his first career losing streak after going 13-0.
Costa hopes a second Vettori encounter can happen in April.
“I don’t respect him,” Costa said. “I want to end his life. He’s an a—hole, a fool. He had this win over me and thinks he’s the man, but he’s an a—hole, a child. We see he’s a goof, he can’t even wear shorts the right way. There’s a photo of him with his shorts backward, and he still thinks he’s the man. But I’ll fight him again. I mean, at least I plan to.
“I’m not saying I want to fight Vettori because he took my place in the ranking,” Costa continued. “It’s not about that. It’s because he’s an a—hole. I have to fight him. I have to erase this loss. I want to leave him sidelined for at least a year after the beating I give him. I want to hurt him. I’m angry.”
The No. 5-ranked middleweight contender isn’t against sticking with the UFC once his current deal is up. But, he is curious about the combat sports free agency market overall.
While Costa may not have an interest in anything, but Vettori for his potential next time inside an MMA cage, he also admits to eying the boxing ring and its values. Noting that, “Boxing pays more in the short term, but doesn’t have the promotion power the UFC has,” Costa highlights Francis Ngannou’s current situation and believes there’s a balance required.
“He’s the UFC champion, getting paid a bad purse, and now that he’s at the top he’s doing the right thing, which is to go after the financial part outside UFC,” Costa said of Ngannou.