Sunday, January 23, 2022

Paulo Costa Shares Why He Was Only 10-20% Against Israel Adesanya

Paulo Costa believes his loss to Israel Adesanya can be largely attributed to having a bit too much to drink the night before the fight.

At UFC 253, Israel Adesanya turned on one of if not the finest performance of his career when he completely walked through Paulo Costa in the main event unscathed. Costa did not perform with his same aggressiveness or pace that he usually does, which could be attributed to Adesanya’s distance control and technical mastery. Or, as Costa implied in a video posted on his YouTube channel, it could have just been a matter of having too much wine the previous night.

“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.

Israel Adesanya dominates Paulo Costa, finishes with devastating  second-round knockout in UFC 253 main event - MMA Fighting
Israel Adesanya Lands Big Head Kick On Paulo Costa At UFC 253. Credit: Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC

“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.”

Paulo Costa Gives Valuation Of Performance Level At UFC 253

Paulo Costa went on to describe how differently he felt in the hours leading up to the fight than he usually does. From a mental standpoint, he did not feel any nerves or excitement. And from a physical standpoint, he was sleepy after his tactic of using wine as a sleeping aid the night before proved unsuccessful.

Kamaru Usman is known for once famously saying he was only 30% of his capabilities when defeating Emil Meek in 2018. Perhaps Costa’s claim of being at an even lower operating percentage will be received either less or more favorably with him coming up on the losing end.

“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.”

Costa would follow this up by expressing that he should not have gone ahead with the fight while in this condition. He also did not ignore the tactical points that led to his defeat, such as not bringing the attack to Adesanya more, so he is not placing the blame for the loss solely on a bad wine hangover.

What do you make of Paulo Costa’s comments about being hung over and only 10-20% in his fight against Israel Adesanya at UFC 253?

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