As his position in the UFC commentary team has grown, former UFC double champ Daniel Cormier has become more and more of a lightning rod for controversy. Whether it’s accusations of bias from current fighters, accusations of poor prep from fellow commentators, or accusations of being a ‘company man’ from fans, Cormier seems to find himself regularly in the midst of MMA drama.
This time around, it’s Paulo Costa challenging the longtime AKA fighter—over Cormier’s recent public pleas to stop his friend and teammate Luke Rockhold from returning to MMA. On a recent episode of his ‘3 Rounds’ webcast Cormier revealed that ‘Borrachinha’ told him “how special it was to share the Octagon with Luke,” as a way showing the former middleweight champ that even his opponent was impressed by Rockhold’s final UFC bout.
Costa, however, was quick to deny that any kind words had crossed his lips.
No I didn’t say nothing, sorry ! pic.twitter.com/umxSjvVUk3— Paulo Costa ( Borrachinha ) (@BorrachinhaMMA) October 2, 2022
All this started with Rockhold’s recent proclamation that, should “that Brazilian dude,” Alex Pereira, beat Israel Adesanya to win the middleweight championship, the 37-year-old former Strikeforce talent might just find his competitive fire again.
Rockhold and Costa fought in the co-main event of the UFC 278 PPV back on August 20th in Salt Lake City. After the bout, Rockhold announced his retirement, proclaiming “I f-cking can’t do this sh-t anymore. I gave it my all. I just didn’t … I’m f-cking old.”
The bout also marked the penultimate fight on Paulo Costa’s UFC contract. The Brazilian recently revealed that he was “looking forward to free agency,” adding that while he might return to the UFC, his contract situation would need to improve.
“I need to talk with [the UFC] and see,” Costa said of a potential UFC return. “I’m not rushing up to see, but we need to see, we need to figure it out. I’m not happy with the current contract, of course.”