Paulo Costa is solely interested in one fight for his next UFC appearance: a rematch with Marvin Vettori.
Costa and Vettori fought this past October at UFC Vegas 41, where ‘Borrachinha’ was defeated by the ‘Italian Dream’ via unanimous decision in a 205-pound fight. Though both men compete in the 185-pound division, several changes had to be made after the Brazilian arrived to fight week heavier than usual and admitted he would be unable to make weight. He later explained that a left bicep injury forced him to stop training weeks before his fight, an excuse that was not enough to keep UFC president Dana White from declaring Costa would be competing as a light heavyweight from now on.
However, after a conversation between his manager Wallid Ismail and the UFC brass, Costa will indeed return to middleweight, and he wants to see his most recent opponent again. In an interview with Diego Ribas of Ag Fight, the No. 5 ranked contender explained why he is uninterested in fighting again unless it is against Vettori.
“I just said to let Dana White know,” said Costa (translation via Guilherme Cruz of MMA Fighting). “I’ll fight him now. It’s the only fight that interests me. No one else interests me. Unless if it’s for the title, but I’m no fool. I’m not stupid to consider [a title fight] now. I want to fight him. He’s the only viable guy that interests me. If it’s not him, I’m not even interested in fighting. I let Dana White know that.”
A response from White has not been received, but Costa hopes his request will be granted. The 30-year-old revealed he has one fight left on his current contract with the UFC. Before he considers re-signing with the promotion or pursuing other options, he would like an opportunity to avenge a loss to someone he doesn’t even respect.
If given that chance, Costa has a very violent vision for Vettori in a rematch.
“I don’t respect him,” said Costa. “I want to end his life. He’s an a—hole, a fool. He had this win over me and thinks he’s the man, but he’s an a—hole, a child. We see he’s a goof, he can’t even wear shorts the right way. There’s a photo of him with his shorts backward, and he still thinks he’s the man. But I’ll fight him again. I mean, at least I plan to.
“I’m not saying I want to fight Vettori because he took my place in the ranking,” continued Costa. “It’s not about that. It’s because he’s an a—hole. I have to fight him. I have to erase this loss. I want to leave him sidelined for at least a year after the beating I give him. I want to hurt him. I’m angry.”
Costa has targeted a return to the Octagon as soon as April. The one-time title challenger is currently on a career-worst two-fight losing streak to the aforementioned Vettori and Israel Adesanya, who finished him by second-round technical knockout at UFC 253.