Michael Bisping and Anthony Smith give their theories on the reason the USADA tested Paulo Costa during his weight cut.
UFC 278 went off without a hitch last weekend in Salt Lake City, but that almost wasn’t the case. In the leadup to fight night all fighters must weigh in and officially make the agreed-upon weight for their respective fights. The days leading up to the weigh-ins are usually filled with athletes dehydrating themselves to drop 10-20 pounds of water. The experience is not pleasant and most fighters are a bit on edge during that time. On Friday morning before Paulo Costa woke for the final moments of his weight cut he had a visit from the U.S Anti-Doping Agency (USADA.)
USADA came to take blood and urine from Costa to make sure he was not taking anything illegal before his fight. It is not unusual for them to visit fighters in the early morning but during the cut is frowned upon. Michael Bisping and Anthony Smith have both been in a position of cutting weight and a position of having to deal with USADA. They lent their theories as to why the process was carried out like that in Salt Lake City.
“I also don’t know, I’m not 100%. So I don’t want Jeff Novitzky to hear this and call me and freak out. But from what I understand, there’s only certain hours that they (USADA) can test or there’s certain hours that they can’t test. I think it’s like a seven to ten like not before 7 am and not after 10 pm or something like that,” Smith said on Bisping’s YouTube channel. “So they have to get special permission to test within those hours. So I don’t know why they would have. I don’t know if they’re looking for something or if someone tipped them off or they’re suspecting and I don’t want to put that out there. I do know that they need special permission to test outside of those hours.”
Michael Bisping wonders if there was a certain substance USADA was looking for
Costa was understandably furious at the timing of the test. He showed his anger on the scale as he loudly cursed USADA. Dana White has also mad at the way the situation played out and assured fighters that something like that would never happen again. Costa has never failed a drug test before although there have been many jokes made at his expense. He has had difficulty cutting weight in the past and usually gains a bit more than usual when between fights.
“I would assume they’re looking for something that’s maybe going to help Costa’s weight cut,” Bisping said. “There’s stuff that people can take, apparently, that’s in and out your system really, really quick, like 24 hours or whatever, you know, that you might still get some benefit from. So I’m assuming they’re looking for something like that. But at some point, you got to say, right, whoa, stop. Right, let them focus on the fight. They have a job to do.”
Despite the disturbance, Costa successfully made weight and went on to win his co-main event fight against Luke Rockhold at UFC 278.
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