The big story of the week coming into UFC Vegas 41 was Paulo Costa showing up a whole damn weight class above 185 pounds for his supposed Middleweight main event against Marvin Vettori. Not only did he come in heavy, he came in pretty unrepentant, which really rubbed a lot of people the wrong way. Weight cutting may be pretty stupid, but unfair advantages in mixed martial arts (MMA) can have dire physical consequences.
There were no apologies or explanations from Costa, although he did say there was a reason this happened and he’d explain it after the fight. And, man of his word, he did share a reason after ... although it’s about on par with his Israel Adesanya wine excuse.
“The only problem, my friend, is I lost this fight so it will look like an excuse,” Costa said at the post-fight press conference. “I don’t have an excuse for anything. I did a good job there. Marvin as well. Congratulations to him, and to me, I think. But I had some problems to not make, to not come in here with my usual weight. I came in a little bit higher weight because I needed to stop some weeks of training. My left bicep.”
Costa’s opponent, Marvin Vettori — who beat Costa on the scorecards 48-46x3 (watch highlights here) — was not impressed with this explanation.
“Can’t you run if you have a biceps tear?” he asked, shaking his head. “I mean, to make weight? What is that excuse? That doesn’t make any f—king sense. You can do pretty much anything with a biceps tear anyway. It doesn’t have anything to do with the weight. He could say, ‘Oh I couldn’t throw my right hand because of my biceps tear.’ Not, ‘I couldn’t make weight because of a biceps tear.’”
Even with the fight and the mind games behind them, Costa still refused to apologize for the last-minute switch from Middleweight to Light Heavyweight.
“No, no, no way,” Costa said. “No, of course not. I came here and the UFC suggested to fight at a catchweight or 205, and I just said yes, let’s go. I don’t care for weight. This is a fair fight. Both guys made weight on the same day at the same limit, so what could be more fair than that?”
So, it should be no surprise that Vettori doesn’t have a lot of respect for Costa, even after the wild five rounds of fighting that went on between the two warriors.
“He’s full of s—t, to be honest,” Vettori declared. “I don’t like how he carried himself. If I see him right now I probably won’t jump him, but I won’t even share a glass of wine with him. You go your way, I go my way. You lost, you’re going to give me 30 percent of your purse. And go run, fat ass.”
For complete UFC Vegas 41 results and coverage click here.