Over the last few years Paulo Costa has evolved into one of the more interesting characters on the UFC roster. He’s had some highs and lows in the cage, but outside of that he’s cut an odd figure—entwining himself with Jair Bolsonaro, blaming too much red wine for his loss to Israel Adesanya and allegedly scuffling with a nurse at a vaccination clinic.
Costa’s actions were recently discussed by UFC light heavyweight champion Glover Teixeira—who takes on Jiri Prochazka at UFC 275 later today. Teixeira offered some words of advice to his fellow Brazilian (and a mild condemnation).
“I believe ‘Borrachinha’ is too corrupted by Instagram and YouTube followers, maybe he wants attention to gain followers, like Jake Paul,” Teixeira said (ht MMA Fighting). “I can’t say because maybe he’s doing the right thing.
“Honestly, look, he has more followers than me, right? Maybe that’s worth more money down the line, so who am I to talk? If that’s his goal, gain more followers and be the Kim Kardashian of Instagram, he’s on the right path. Now, if his goal is to become champion, he has to leave the controversies aside and focus on training, diet, and what he wants.”
“I’m not saying he’s right or wrong,” continued Teixeira. “If we’re talking about money and followers, he’s right. It’s not my goal to have followers. My goal was always to be the best fighter in the world. When I retire from fighting, I’ll delete all my social media and start over.”
After a long career of not saying or doing much to upset anyone, Teixeira finally clinched UFC gold in 2021. The 42-year-old, who is a former understudy to Chuck Liddell, won the title with a submission win over Jan Blachowicz at UFC 267.
That win came after five straight wins. Among those victories are stoppages of Thiago Santos, Anthony Smith and Ion Cutelaba.
Costa came into the UFC in 2017 via The Ultimate Fighter Brazil. He carried an undefeated pro record into the Octagon and won his first five fights with the company.
After beating Johny Hendricks, Uriah Hall and Yoel Romero, Costa earned a title shot versus Adesanya at 2020’s UFC 253.
Costa was thoroughly beaten by Adesanya, losing via second round TKO. Afterwards Costa said a reason he lost was because he stayed up too late the night before drinking wine.
His most recent fight was a unanimous decision loss to Marvin Vettori in the headliner of UFC Vegas 41. That fight stayed on the books despite Costa proclaiming there was no way he could make the middleweight weight limit. The bout was turned into a 195 lb catchweight fight and then upgraded to a light heavyweight bout when it became clear Costa couldn’t make that weight either.
Costa is currently booked to face former middleweight champion Luke Rockhold at UFC 278 in August.