There’s no question that the version of Paulo Costa who showed up to fight Israel Adesanya only bore a pale resemblance to the man that marched down Yoel Romero just a year previous. Costa looked something like a deer in the headlights on his way to a second round TKO loss to the ‘Last Stylebender’—having only attempted 26 strikes over almost two rounds of action.
Just why that is, however, is something of a mystery. Was it all down to Israel Adesanya’s years of kickboxing experience, good footwork, and rangy out-fighting tools? Was Costa caught up in the moment? Overcome by the potential of fighting for UFC gold for the first time? Was it the low kicks?
If ‘Borrachinha’ himself is to be believed, it’s because he “was kind of drunk.” Costa claims he downed a whole bottle of wine the night before his 9 a.m. bout against the champion. If that’s what he’s selling though Adesanya certainly isn’t buying it.
“I’ll tell you one thing: The best thing to do in his position is accept the fact he lost,” Adesanya told MMA Junkie in a recent interview. “He got his ass whooped. The fact that he keeps trying to make all these excuses, it’s only going to do him worse in the long run. He’s making excuses because his ego can’t handle the fact that ‘The Skinny Clown’ whooped his ass badly then double-tapped him twice.
“Just swallow your ego. You got your ass whooped. Get back to the drawing board and reassess your whole game. You can’t just rest on that because if you do – this is my advice – you’ll never get far in life, or in this game.”
Obviously, the City Kickboxing talent has his own reasons for being dismissive of any idea that what happened in the Octagon on September 27th, 2020 was a result of something other than his own prodigious talents. But, former double-champ and current UFC play-by-play man Daniel Cormier was no more enamored by the Brazilian’s excuses, when he spoke about them on a recent episode of his DC & Helwani webcast.
“It’s a joke, it’s an absolute joke,” Cormier said, of Costa’s wine-y reasoning (transcript via MMA Mania). “He’s out of his mind. This dude Paulo Costa is gonna kill me when he sees me. He legitimately says some of the dumbest stuff I’ve ever heard in my entire life. I don’t know who is advising this young man. This is the stuff you say after, ‘Oh man I got drunk,’ because you didn’t have time to think of an excuse. It took you six months to come up with ‘you got drunk, you drank too much wine’ ... who told him to put that out there?”
Costa is currently getting set to fight former middleweight champion Robert Whittaker in the main event of an April 17th UFC Fight Night card. The event is also scheduled to feature the lightweight return of Jeremy Stephens, taking on Drakkar Klose. Hopefully, this time around the Fight Ready talent will wait until after his bout to start poppin’ bottles.