Midnight Mania! Defiant Paulo Costa downplays surgery, promises to KO Khamzat: ‘He has nothing for me’
Welcome to Midnight Mania!
Nobody every really knows what to expect with Paulo Costa.
This is the man who stood toe-to-toe with Yoel Romero and then got too drunk to fight well opposite Israel Adesanya. He hates USADA and flaunts his usage of “Secret Juice” at every turn, then misses weight versus Marvin Vettori by an entire weight class. When UFC tries to dock his pay, he tells them he won’t show up!
None of that stopped UFC from offering him a mega contract and booking him against promotional hotshot Khamzat Chimaev in the co-main event of UFC 294 in Abu Dhabi. Clearly, the promotion trusts that “Borrachinha” will show up for this highly important bout.
An unexpected elbow surgery puts it all at risk.
Costa, however, is here to clear the air. He went on The MMA Hour to address any concerns about his injury and subsequent surgery. According to Costa, his biggest concern was that doctors wouldn’t let him fight, as he didn’t really have to take much time out of training to handle the issue.
“When the doctor told me it was necessary to open [up my elbow], I was with my team, Eric [Albarracin] and Tamara [Alves], everybody was there, and I just asked doctors how long it would take to remove these stitches,” Costa said (via MMAFighting). “They say, ‘OK, we are five weeks to the fight right now, and you need to stay with stitches in your elbow for two weeks. So after two weeks, we’re going to remove that and we’re left with two weeks for you to train.’
“I said, ‘That’s good. That’s good news. That’s enough.’ Two weeks is enough to train, because I am in shape, I’m ready. I came ready to this fight. I’ve been calling [out] this guy to fight, Gourmet Chen Chen, a long time ago. You know that. I was on your show when I was talking about him and I’ve chased this guy, and I know he wants one excuse to get out of this fight. He doesn’t want that fight. I want this fight so bad and I will not let him [escape so] easily. So I just asked them, ‘Please, keep me in the fight.’ I even asked [the doctor] to not let the UFC know, but that was not possible, so they reported everything to the UFC.”
“[UFC] are just worried about me because [of the surgery],” he added. “I took 10 days off to [get the procedure] in Brazil, and here [I took off] 14 more days before and after surgery. So they’re a little bit worried about my health. But I’m sparring, I’m doing everything.”
Perhaps more important than the disruption to his training camp is Costa’s mentality. He’s extremely confident that he’s the man to beat the undefeated “Borz,” and he also fully intends to win by stoppage. More than anything else, Costa promises he’s going to do everything in his power to make it to the cage and finally face off with Chimaev.
“I’d like to say thank you to the UFC as well for keeping me in this fight, because bro, I truly believe [if we fight] 100 times, I can beat him like 99 percent [of the fights],” Costa said. “I have all the tools to beat this motherf*****. He’s a wrestler. He has nothing for me. He has big head, long arms, slim body. He will do nothing against me. I will defend his first takedown and I’m going to knock him out. So, I want this fight so bad, that’s why I’m still in this fight. I did a surgery, but it doesn’t [matter], I’m going be there anyway.
“This guy, he needs to run [more than that] to escape from me. I’m here to beat him. The only way [we won’t fight] is if doctors drag me out screaming, kicking, and not allow me to go inside the cage, because I came to fight him and I truly believe I’m going to beat him.”
Based on more recent looks, Costa looks lean and mean ahead of UFC 294.
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Sleep well Maniacs! More martial arts madness is always on the way.