Paulo Costa says he should have postponed title fight against Israel Adesanya

Former UFC middleweight championship challenger Paulo Costa says that he should have used more time in preparing for his title bout against reigning champion Israel Adesanya.

Paulo Costa came up short against Adesanya in the main event of UFC 253 back in September, losing via second-round TKO. 

During a live Q&A session on his YouTube channel, Paulo Costa stated that he feels he should have postponed his title bout against Adesanya. 

“Maybe I could have used more in the Adesanya fight, but many things happened before that fight,” Costa said, via Guilherme Cruz of MMA Fighting. “I don’t like to talk because it might sound as excuse, but I had no sleep, my leg was totally impaired, and I shouldn’t have fought, I should have postponed it for the next weekend or more.”

Paulo Costa went on to compare his situation to that of Patricky Freire, who was forced to pull out of his Bellator 249 co-main event bout against Jaleel Willis last October 15th. Costa and Freire are both coached by Eric Albarracin. 

“I saw what happened with Patricky, who fights for Bellator — and has the same coach, Eric Albarracin —, and his team did the right thing. He didn’t wake up well, had labyrinthitis on the day of the fight, feeling dizzy, (so) he doesn’t have to fight. We’re in such a high level that you don’t have to fight if you don’t feel well. It was our mistake,” Costa shared. 

Despite getting stopped in the second round, Costa said that he wasn’t convinced of Adesanya’s skills, and believes that he can do better if the two were to cross paths inside the Octagon again. 

“He’s an agile fighter, fast, but doesn’t convince me. He didn’t convince me. It’s hard to say, I lost to him and won’t be right. I can say whatever I want and I won’t be right, it will sound salty, but, in reality, he doesn’t convince me. I can fight him 10 times and all 10 times will be different,” Costa stated. 

Paulo Costa targeting bout with former middleweight champ Robert Whittaker

While Paulo Costa won’t likely be getting any immediate title rematches against Israel Adesanya, the Brazilian middleweight is setting his sights on the next best thing: the former champion and current number one contender Robert Whittaker

Costa, who is coming off a second-round TKO loss to Adesanya at UFC 253 back in September, has publicly called for a bout against Whittaker, who secured his spot as the top contender with a unanimous decision win over Jared Cannonier at UFC 254. 

While Whittaker says that Adesanya is the only fight that he wants now, he’s going to have to wait a while since the middleweight champion is booked to challenge reigning UFC light heavyweight champion Jan Blachowicz. 

Costa, meanwhile, said that the Whittaker fight is very close to being booked

Could a Paulo Costa vs. Robert Whittaker matchup determine the next challenger for Adesanya?

Published 05 Nov 2020, 05:57 IST

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