Sunday, November 27, 2022

Marvin Vettori Shares Why He Handpicked Paulo Costa As Next Opponent

UFC middleweight Marvin Vettori has revealed why he wanted to face fellow former title challenger Paulo Costa in his next Octagon outing.

Vettori was last in action in June. After impressive victories over Jack Hermansson and Kevin Holland, “The Italian Dream” secured a rematch with UFC Middleweight Champion Israel Adesanya, this time for the title. In the UFC 263 main event, Vettori became the third man to challenge the Nigerian-New Zealander’s throne. After being outpointed across five rounds inside Glendale’s Gila River Arena, the #5-ranked contender failed to capture the 185-pound gold.

Costa, meanwhile, also fell short of the middleweight mountaintop in his last fight. At UFC 253, the Brazilian met “The Last Stylebender” in Abu Dhabi. Despite boasting an unblemished record, and being tipped by many as the man who would hand Adesanya his first defeat at 185 pounds, “Borrachinha” offered little in the opening frame and was finished in the second. He later laid the blame on a bottle of wine he’d apparently consumed the night before.

Both men will be looking to re-establish themselves in the title picture when they collide in this weekend’s UFC Vegas 41 main event.

Despite his opponent boasting a perfect 13-0 record that included 11 knockouts prior to his defeat to Adesanya, Vettori is more than happy to be facing the 30-year-old. During a recent interview with ESPN MMA, the Italian explained why he targeted a fight against the Brazilian powerhouse.

“Because, man, it’s a perfect matchup. I think it’s a fan-favorite fight, too. He definitely likes to come forward. I do not ever shy away from confronting any guy, any fighter. And I think I’m superior, and I think I’m gonna win this fight, and I really wanna knock this guy out, stop him.” 

With both men ranked inside the division’s top five, and with Adesanya having already beaten most top contenders, it stands to reason an impressive performance for either man inside the UFC Apex on Saturday could leave them just one win away from securing another crack at dethroning Adesanya.

Who do you think will have their hand raised at UFC Vegas 41, Marvin Vettori or Paulo Costa?