This plan for this weekend was to have Paulo Costa take on Marvin Vettori in a middleweight clash in the headliner of UFC Vegas 41. That bout, between two recent title challengers, might determine which of them gets another crack at current champ Israel Adesanya.
However, Costa has thrown a spanner in the works, revealing that he is nowhere close to making the middleweight limit (186 lbs) needed for Friday’s weigh-ins. Costa told the gathered media today that he currently weighs 211 lbs.
“What happened yesterday, [my manager] Wallid [Ismail] talked with some people with him, Ali [Abdelaziz], his manager I think, and it’s not on the schedule to make 185 [pounds] anymore,” said Costa (ht MMA Fighting). “It’s another weight. I’m not exactly [sure] which weight yet.”
“I think this fight will happen,” he added. “It just will not happen if he don’t want to fight me. Maybe we can do a catchweight 195 [pounds] maybe but I think make this fight [205 pounds] could be more exciting to the fans.
“More explosive fight cause I want to go bring the fight for him. Maybe he wants to bring the fight to me. I think with both guys heavy, this knockout can happen easily.”
Costa went on to say that he doesn’t care how much Vettori weighs in at, so long as their fight happens.
“I’m more concentrated on my weight than on his weight. I don’t care if he makes 225 pounds or more. We need to find a catchweight to make. I don’t know exactly yet.
“We’re going to finalize the deal, how it’s going to work, the catchweight, but let me arrive there,” Ismail said on Wednesday. “But the most important now is [Costa] needs to give his best to show the world what he’s about. We cannot talk much, just the time of the fight. It’s going to be a catchweight, this is for sure.”
In a joint interview with ESPN Costa and Vettori discussed the upcoming fight and seemed to come to a verbal agreement on a 195 lb catchweight contest.
The loss to Adesanya at UFC 253 in 2020 was the first pro loss of Costa’s career. Prior to that defeat he was 13-0 with five wins inside the Octagon. He joined the UFC in 2017, off of The Ultimate Fighter Brazil. He holds wins over Yoel Romero, Uriah Hall and Johny Hendricks.