Dana White didn’t appreciate USADA taking a sample from Paulo Costa during his weight cut.
During the official weigh-ins for UFC 278, co-main event fighter Paulo Costa was fuming. He was on the scale cursing at the U.S Anti-Doping agency for coming to his room early that morning and taking a blood sample. Fridays before the fights are difficult for most fighters because they are cutting weight and are usually very dehydrated. Costa, who has in the past had trouble cutting weight was not happy with the timing of the visit and let the world know it.
Following the incident on the scale, UFC President Dana White made an apology to Costa. He explained in his post-fight presser at UFC 278 that he expressed his regret for the timing to Costa before the fight.
“I apologized to (Costa) on stage. That’ll never happen again to any fighter,” White said via MMA Junkie. “(USADA representatives) don’t know about fighting the way that people who know about fighting know about fighting. You don’t go in and test a guy at 6 in the morning when he’s cutting weight. The result’s going to be the same a few hours later. You wait. I apologized to him on stage when he came out, and that won’t happen to another fighter again.”
USADA began serving the UFC back in 2015 and became responsible for random drug testing both in and out of competition. As a fighter grows closer to their bout, testing may become more regular, but during a weight cut, it is frowned upon. Recently fighters have become more and more vocal about the nuisance of having to comply with USADA, both with testing and having to report all their whereabouts.
Paulo Costa’s contract with the UFC is nearly up
With the trouble of drug testing behind him, Costa went out and put on a show for the fans when he defeated Luke Rockhold on Saturday night. His performance was entertaining and he got the job done after a bloody brawl. In his win, he spoke in his post-fight speech that his contract with the UFC was nearly up. With only one win in his last three fights, the future was unclear for Costa, but White cleared up right up afterward.
“(I have) nothing but respect for both of those guys tonight. Of course we’d like to re-sign (Costa). We’ll see what happens,” he said.
Costa was ranked sixth coming into the fight with Rockhold and showed that he is still in the hunt for the title at this time.