UFC middleweight contender Paulo Costa isn’t planning on making a move to light heavyweight anytime soon despite recent weight-cutting issues.
Costa defeated former middleweight champion, Luke Rockhold, in the UFC 278 co-headliner last month. He got back in the win column following back-to-back losses to Marvin Vettori and UFC Middleweight Champion Israel Adesanya.
Entering UFC 278, there was a great deal of speculation as to whether or not Costa would make the middleweight limit ahead of this fight after the recent debacle surrounding his fight with Vettori.
Originally scheduled as a middleweight fight last October, Costa showed up to fight week around 30 pounds overweight and forced the UFC to make it a light heavyweight bout.
Costa silenced the doubters by not only making weight but putting on a ‘Fight of the Night’ winning performance at UFC 278 against Rockhold. Despite those who still have questions about him cutting down to 185lbs, he doesn’t foresee a full-time move to light heavyweight happening in the near future.
Paulo Costa Still Feels Middleweight Is His Long-Term Home
During an interview on The MMA Hour, Costa explained why he doesn’t feel the need to move up a division to avoid the harsh weight cut to middleweight.
“I can make 185 and put on an amazing performance,” Costa said. “I feel great, like a monster. I feel different when I make 185, I feel [I’m different] than anyone else in this division… I know of course I could make 205 with no stress, no cutting weight, eating a lot, but I can do 185 and be in great shape, jacked, strong…so why not?”
Costa burst on the scene in the UFC with five-straight wins to begin his UFC tenure, including victories over former title challengers Johny Hendricks and Yoel Romero. His 13-fight winning streak to begin his professional career came to a screeching halt when he was finished by Adesanya at UFC 253.
After the drama surrounding his fight with Vettori, UFC President Dana White said at the time that Costa would need to return at light heavyweight. This ended up not happening and Costa remains a middleweight contender.
Costa is hoping to get back into the title conversation with another victory. He has one more fight left on his UFC contract and it’s unclear if the promotion will re-sign him in the coming months.
If Costa returns to the UFC, he seems fully committed to working his way towards another middleweight title shot. While many will continue to question whether or not Costa will successfully cut to 185lbs consistently, he appears in great physical and mental condition following his UFC 278 win.
Do you think Paulo Costa could challenge for the middleweight title again with another win?