Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Hooker: Costa’s Weight Miss Was An “FU” To Fans, The UFC & Vettori

Dan Hooker has slammed former UFC middleweight title challenger Paulo Costa for disrespecting Marvin Vettori, the fans, and the promotion by not making his division’s weight limit last week.

Costa returned this past weekend for the first time since his championship loss to Israel Adesanya at UFC 253 last October. Ahead of his shot at gold, “The Eraser” had built an undefeated 13-0 record that included 11 knockouts and victories over Uriah Hall and Yoel Romero. However, Costa is now on a two-fight losing skid, courtesy of a second-round TKO against “The Last Stylebender” and a unanimous decision to Marvin Vettori.

The Brazilian faced “The Italian Dream” in the UFC Vegas 41 main event on Saturday. In a competitive and entertaining five-round affair, it was Costa who left the Octagon with another blemish on his record.

Despite showing glimpses of his immense power and danger in the cage, the talk after Costa’s performance has continued to surround his pre-fight antics. At UFC Vegas 41 media day, the 30-year-old revealed that he was over 25 pounds beyond the middleweight limit, and suggested a 195-pound catchweight bout.

Not only was the weight miss extremely controversial, but his attitude towards it, and his attempts to place the onus on the fight happening on Vettori, drew flak from all corners of the MMA community. Having initially agreed on the catchweight contest, the bout was moved up yet again, this time to light heavyweight.

In the aftermath, UFC lightweight contender Dan Hooker has given his take on the weight change during a recent appearance on Submission Radio. Suggesting Nick Diaz, who also forced a weight class change for his fight last month, was given leeway because of what he’s done for the sport, “The Hangman” said Costa hadn’t earned the right to show up and make the demands he made.

“He [Costa] didn’t like, earn the right to do that. It was a funny situation because it was only what, a couple of weeks ago that we let Nick Diaz roll up and do it. But Paulo Costa hadn’t done for the sport what Nick Diaz had done. But obviously same result, he got the weight class changed entirely so, I don’t know, it was kind of funny, a bit of a powerplay.”

Discussing the importance of making weight, Hooker described it as a sign of respect, suggesting Costa’s efforts and attitude was an “FU” to Vettori, the UFC, and to the fans. The New Zealander believes if a fighter tried to do the same in his home country or in Australia, the results would have been very different.

“It’s a sign of respect, that’s all it is. It’s a matter of respect. I show up on weight as a respect for my opponent, as a respect for my gym, as a respect for, you know, representing who I represent. It’s a sign of respect to the fans, it’s a sign of respect to the promotion, it’s absolutely everything. It absolutely is what it is, him [Costa] coming out like that is just a massive FU to the fans, FU to the UFC, FU to his opponent [Vettori].

“It’s not for me, that’s not the Anzac culture of the sport. That would never happen, something like that, in New Zealand or Australia. I feel like if you just showed up to a local kickboxing show with your fighter 10 kilos overweight and were like, ‘What are you gonna do about it?’ I feel like you’d get beaten up in the car park.”

What did you make of Paulo Costa’s weight issues during UFC Vegas 41 fight week? Do you agree with Dan Hooker?

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