Paulo Costa made an instant impact on the Middleweight division by defeating the likes of Yoel Romero and Uriah Hall. However, his most recent outing saw him pick up a loss to the 185lb champion Israel Adesanya. Costa has since attempted to give some insight as to how he lost the pivotal matchup.
Too Much Pinot For Paulo
Paulo Costa recently posted a video to his YouTube channel, revealing some intriguing prefight details. ‘Borrachina’ had the following to say:
“I was kind of drunk [when] I fought, maybe, on hangover,” Costa said in Portuguese. “I couldn’t sleep because of the [leg] cramps. Keep in mind that the fight happens at 9 a.m. [local time], we have to wake up at 5 to get ready, stretch, wrap the hands. The UFC told us to wake up at 5 in the morning to go to the arena to fight. I hadn’t slept until 2:30.”
“It was my mistake and I don’t blame anyone else, it was something I chose [to do], but, in order to try to sleep, because I had to sleep since I was awake for 24 hours, I had wine, too much wine, a bottle [of wine] to try to black out. I had a glass and didn’t work. Two glasses, it didn’t work. Half bottle, didn’t work. I had it all” (translated & transcribed by MMA Fighting).
Paulo Costa goes on to describe where he was mentally in the buildup to the championship fight. The pressure of fighting for a belt for the first time can often send fighters anxiety level through the roof. However, Costa claims that he was the very opposite of anxious.
“It was a different feeling,” he said in the video posted Saturday. “I’m always very active in every fight. There’s some apprehension, fear of getting hit and whatnot, so you’re on. In this fight, the championship fight, I was sleepy, yawning and unworried. It was odd. I didn’t feel anything, not even an agony, ‘Wow, I’m fighting for the title.’ Not even that. I was too calm. All that calm freaked me out.”
“Aside from the Adesanya fight where many things happened, many factors that didn’t allow me to get there well, it will be the same Paulo of always, going for the knockout at all times,” he said. “That’s who I am. I haven’t changed. The thing is, I was 20, 10 percent of my capacities in the Adesanya fight. We had to change the the strategy in the lockerroom. ‘Don’t attack him, just wait for the first two rounds,’ which was a mistake. Today we know that was a mistake, but talking is easy.
The Power of Hindsight
Costa also reflects on where he was physically prefight. He claims that he had leg cramps so severe that the fight should have been postponed. These leg cramps would of course lead him to consume the wine which no doubt also had an adverse effect on him.
“The right thing would have been not fighting the way I was, because I was different. I was different because I was in horrible conditions. I didn’t sleep, I had leg cramps all the time, before walking out to the octagon, in the lockerroom. There are many things we can say, but won’t be the case for this video. But the athletic commission came to the lockerroom twice to check my leg, to remove the oil we had on it to have a massage. But, I’ll say it again, I was very confident. I wanted to fight, I thought I could do it. I just think the strategy was wrong, to not attack him.”
Costa is set to face off against Robert Whittaker next, on April 17th.