Paulo Costa has named his favorite fighter while trying to get to the UFC.
The Brazillian berserker, who most recently defeated Luke Rockhold in an epic firefight for the ages at UFC 278, has recently become a darling of the MMA media.
His comical takes combined with his ever-growing knowledge of the English language have made Paulo Costa must-see TV. He has done everything from shaving an MMA Hour staff member’s head to discrediting Ariel Helwani for his fake “secret juice” recipe which Paulo Costa owns.
In one segment of the interview, Paulo Costa revealed which fighter he aspired to be like. His answer would be music to the ears of many Pride and early UFC fans. They remember the name people said in hushed tones. The Axe Murderer.
“My favorite fighter? At the very beginning, Wanderlei Silva.”
Paulo Costa Talks Favorite Fighter
Silva is regarded as one of the most vicious, intimidating, and relentless competitors in MMA history. The Brazilian’s best run came in Pride FC, with a run of 20 bouts in which he was undefeated. With a middleweight title, a grand Prix win, and the most knockouts, and wins in the promotion’s history, he was the man, and Paulo Costa agrees.
“Why? He was in the Pride, and he showed a lot of wildness, desire, will, you know? I used to do this (imitates Silva’s hand roll) at home together with him (when he fought), ‘Let’s go Wanderlei! Let’s go!'”
It is easy to see where Wanderlei Silva’s influence resides in Costa’s game. Often throwing with wild abandon, and luring opponents into a battle of chin strength, The Axe Murderer definitely lives on through Costa. He has taken aim at a fresh target, two-weight terror Khamzat Chimaev. Since the pair’s altercation prior to UFC 279, where Chimaev demolished Kevin Holland, Paulo Costa has been relentless.
Whether he gets his wish, only the UFC matchmakers know.
This story originally appeared on MMANews.com. Please provide transcription credit with a link to this article if you use any of these quotes.