Paulo Costa’s representation has released an official statement after the Brazilian was reportedly arrested for assaulting a nurse while attempting to secure a COVID-19 vaccination card.
We’ve already seen a number of prominent combat sports figures involved in altercations this year, from Mike Tyson’s barrage of punches directed at a fellow plane passenger and Jorge Masvidal‘s street attack on Colby Covington to Cain Velasquez’s arrest for attempted, premeditated murder.
The latest incident involved Costa, who was reportedly arrested on Monday evening after allegedly elbowing a nurse in the Metropolitan Region of Belo Horizonte, Brazil. Health workers who witnessed the incident alerted the Municipal Guard, claiming that “Borrachinha” had attempt to gain a proof-of-vaccine card without actually receiving the jab.
Prior to his loss to Marvin Vettori last October, Costa suggested that he wouldn’t be receiving the COVID-19 vaccine as he is “healthy” and “young.” He did, however, confirm that he’d reevaluate his stance should the immunization be required for one of his fights.
In a statement, Municipal Guard Marco Mota described the incident and Costa’s alleged actions.
“The card was filled out. The workers said that, at the time of application, he did not agree to get vaccinated, he wanted to leave with the card and they did not accept it. At that moment, a nurse took an elbow.” (h/t Globo)
However, the #4-ranked UFC middleweight had a different version of events, as was also outlined in a statement from Mota.
“He said he took the vaccine, but the nurses didn’t let him leave with the card. He said it generated a stress, he took the card and left,” the guard detailed. “At that moment, a nurse grabbed him by the arm and he got rid of it. He doesn’t talk about elbowing.”
The report also states that the nurse did not require medical attention following the alleged elbow. With no video footage available inside the room, Costa was released soon after his arrest.
In a recent Twitter post, Costa appeared to reference his brief incarceration, posting an image of himself and Masvidal behind bars.
Update: Costa’s Team Releases Statement
One day after news of the alleged incident circulated, Costa shared the following official statement on Instagram from his representation.
“The recent articles published by the media involving athlete Paulo Costa — “Borrachinha” referring to what happened in a shopping mall in the city of Contagem/MG generated questions, so we must present some clarifications.
“First, tending to sensationalism, these are reckless and inconsistent.
“The athlete Paulo Costa – ‘Borrachinha’ and his entire team reject any type of violence.
‘Borrachinha’ is a high-performing athlete, full time dedicated to training, to following the rules, guidelines, and disciplines. According his philosophy and human conduct this kind of allegations are completely incompatible with his history and way of life.
“The accusations and facts narrated do not reflect the reality of what happened.
“The fact will be carefully investigated and the appropriate legal measures for their perfect clarification will be taken.”
“Borrachinha” is expected to return to the Octagon later this year against the returning Luke Rockhold. Their bout, which was initially booked for UFC 277 on July 30, was recently delayed until August 20.
Given the recent nature of the incident, the cause for the delay evidently came prior to his arrest, meaning that Rockhold’s confusion for the Brazilian’s need to push back their fight will remain.
Keep it locked right here on MMANews.com for further updates on this developing stories.