Marvin Vettori and Paulo Costa were scheduled to meet at middleweight in the main event of UFC Vegas 41 on Saturday night, but some last-minute changes have led to the fight getting moved to light heavyweight instead.
During media day on Wednesday, Vettori alluded to Costa having some issues with his weight-cutting process and said that his opponent was ‘a lot overweight’ just days before their fight. Costa confirmed this, revealed that he weighed 211 pounds and said he would be unable to make the middleweight limit. The Brazilian then asked for a catchweight at 195-pounds, which he received after negotiations between both teams were completed. Costa agreed to forfeit 20 percent of his purse and the fight was saved.
Hours after contracts were signed, another change was made. On Thursday, Jay Pettry of Sherdog reported that the 195-pound catchweight turned into light heavyweight, and both Vettori and Costa have come to terms on the new weight. The Italian, who was already annoyed by the lack of professionalism, took to social media to explain why he ultimately decided to take the fight against Costa despite such a chaotic week.
“I feel like it’s good for me to give an explanation to all of the fans to what’s going on about the fight,” said Vettori. “So, basically, I came in ready to make weight, ready to make 185 [pounds] as always. I come in, and a little bit after, they told me that Costa is overweight. First, they tried to say they wanted to do 190 and 190 wasn’t enough, so 195 then 198, and then 198 was good for a while. We signed a contract for 195, and then now he comes on and says 195 he can’t make it. So we’re up to 205.
“Here I am, making sure I’m gonna give a fight to all the fans Saturday night and I won’t let this guy get away with it,” continued Vettori. “So I accepted the fight and we’re gonna f—king do it. We’re gonna slap this motherf—ker, you know. We’re gonna f—king beat him. It’s right for me to do it for all of us and for all the fighters who actually struggle to make weight. It was very disrespectful from his side to come in 30 pounds heavier and I’m ready, man. Let’s go.”
Vettori and Costa are expected to weigh in on Friday morning. Should everything go smoothly on the scales, then the light heavyweight headliner will move forward as planned.
Vettori returns to the Octagon following a unanimous decision loss to reigning middleweight champion Israel Adesanya at UFC 263 this past June. Costa also suffered a loss to Adesanya in his most recent outing, a second-round technical knockout at UFC 253 over a year ago.