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Paulo Costa undergoes surgery on broken hand, aiming for return in 2023

The UFC middleweight is on the mend after undergoing surgery recently. 

Paulo Costa was hoping to return to the Octagon by the end of the year, but his timeline may have to change.

The UFC middleweight defeated Luke Rockhold by unanimous decision in a ‘Fight of the Night’ awarded outing at UFC 278 this past Saturday. During that 15-minute affair, Costa fractured his right hand, which he has undergone surgery to repair recently.

The Brazilian revealed on his official YouTube channel that the surgery was successful, and his recovery timeline is going to be around eight weeks before he can resume training.

“I broke my hand in the fight,” said Costa. “I thought I had a bone injury or maybe ligaments, but what really happened was a fracture to the metacarpal bone. I hoped it wasn’t a fracture because then I would be able to come back to fighting again in 50 or 60 days and use all the conditioning and the whole camp I’ve done [for UFC 278].”

Because the UFC has its schedule full with the remaining Fight Night and pay-per-view events for 2022, Costa could wait until 2023 to fight again. That timing would be perfect for ‘Borrachinha,’ who may have an opportunity to compete in Brazil for the first time in five years. The UFC announced its return to the country with UFC 283, the upcoming pay-per-view event set for Jan. 21 at Jeunesse Arena in Rio de Janeiro.

Costa has one fight remaining on his current UFC contract and hinted at completing it in front of a home crowd.

“I planned on fighting in 60 days but it won’t be possible,” said Costa. “I’ll have to fight in December or January. We’ll have a UFC card in Rio [on January 21] so maybe it happens there. It’s up to the UFC.”