UFC Apex, Las Vegas; UFC Vegas 41:
Whether Paulo Costa‘s antics were done on purpose, or accident, only he knows for certain. But after bouncing from weight to weight, he found himself in a back and forth brawl. Marvin Vettori used his solid gas tank and a high level output to take a unanimous decision 48-46, as Vettori out slugs Costa.
If things weren’t already intense during fight week, they upped themselves the second Costa entered the cage:
Vettori showed not only a solid chin, and an impressive gas tank, but serious heart. Costa as usual threw everything with bad intentions. And “The Italian Dream” never went down. His left hand was laser like and had Costa breathing heavy from early in round two. And the only time the Brazilian went down, was on a takedown and a slip. The duo spent five rounds trading, and in the end it was Vettori out landing Costa 214-172. Those numbers are now fourth-largest total of strikes in a fight.
Post-fight Vettori did say that Costa’s kicking power was the most impressive thing about him. And when Michael Bisping asked about the extra money coming his way, Vettori said:
“Well I get to buy another watch with his money”.
Vettori Out Slugs Costa; Is Another Title Crack In His Future?
The win was impressive, and in it he’s shown growth. He mentioned he’s not “chasing the title”, which is smart. Israel Adesanya is still the overall best in the division right now. Vettori should now be higher than fifth in the rankings while Costa will probably slip from two.
While Jared Cannonier and Derek Brunson are on the schedule to face each other in January, the winner of that fight may be the best thing for Vettori next. Both provide things he’ll need to improve on if he wants to wear the middleweight strap. However, the likelihood that he’d be willing to sit till March is slim. So perhaps the UFC would consider running this fight back in front of a full arena.
As they say; “styles make fights”; and these two seem like perfect dance partners. But perhaps next time at middleweight. With a contractual clause, should Costa pull the same stunt missing weight the way he did, it’s not just a financial penalty, but a pink slip too.