Paulo Costa wants to return to the middleweight division.
Costa caused quite the stir ahead of his fight against Marvin Vettori at UFC Vegas 41 this past Saturday after asking for and receiving several changes to the weight class it was to be contested. Costa vs. Vettori was supposed to be at 185-pounds before being moved to 195-pounds and then to 205-pounds. The sole reason given for these changes was because ‘Borrachinha’ injured his left bicep during training camp and was forced to stop his usual preparation for several weeks.
Costa performed well in his first outing as a light heavyweight, but ultimately dropped a unanimous decision to Vettori after an entertaining back-and-forth five-round affair. The Brazilian spoke to assembled media at his post-fight press conference and admitted that he would not be opposed to fighting again at 205 pounds, just not any time soon. Costa instead preferred a return to 185 pounds, which UFC president Dana White has already struck down as a possibility considering everything that happened during fight week.
Costa responded to White, and was adamant that he could still compete and make weight for his division. He took to social media and doubled down on his desire to fight at middleweight for his next appearance in the Octagon.
“This guy is going back to the wild more dangerously than ever,” wrote Costa on Instagram. “The taste of blood in my mouth sharpens my senses and makes me want to fight. The vicious fighter at 85kg.”
Costa joined the promotion as an undefeated middleweight and earned stoppage wins over Garreth McLellan, Oluwale Bamgbose, Johny Hendricks and Uriah Hall. He met a fellow feared knockout artist in Yoel Romero, who he defeated by way of unanimous decision at UFC 241. Costa earned a championship opportunity against Israel Adesanya at UFC 253, where he was stopped for the first time in his professional career.