Paulo Costa
The Eraser

Brazil

Replaced on Aug. 21 card
MiddleweightUFC
June 6, 2021
Costa has withdrawn from his scheduled main event matchup against Jared Cannonier on Aug. 21, Brett Okamoto of ESPN.com reports.
ANALYSIS
There doesn't appear to be any injury in play here, but Costa took to his personal Twitter account Saturday to voice his displeasure with the proposed compensation for a main event fight. He also claims that he never signed a contract in the first place, and that the UFC announced this bout prematurely. While fighter pay continues to be an issue in the sport, Costa is coming off a lopsided loss and needs a high-profile opportunity like this to stay in the title conversation. In his stead, Kelvin Gastelum will step in to face Cannonier at the event.
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Taking on Cannonier on Aug. 21
MiddleweightUFC
May 12, 2021
Costa will take on Jared Cannonier at the UFC event on Aug. 21, Marcel Dorff of MMADNA reports.
ANALYSIS
After withdrawing from a previous matchup with Robert Whittaker for UFC's April 17 event with an illness, Costa will return to the ring to battle Cannonier. Costa was most recently routed by Israel Adesanya via TKO (punches) back in Round 2 of UFC 253 in September of 2020 while Cannonier will be coming off a 180-day medical suspension due to injuries sustained during his last fight against Whittaker in October.
Falls ill, won't face Whittaker
MiddleweightUFC
March 16, 2021
Costa (13-1-0) withdrew Tuesday from his scheduled middleweight fight with Robert Whittaker (22-5-0) at the UFC's April 17 event, citing an illness, Guilherme Cruz of MMAFighting.com reports.
ANALYSIS
Though the matchup with Whittaker is a month away, Costa has been slow to recover from an apparently severe case of COVID-19 that has affected his ability to train. Rather than rushing to get back up to full speed in advance of the April 17 event, Costa has instead decided to take some time off to aid his recovery. The UFC has yet to announce whether it will find a replacement for Costa on the April 17 card, as it's possible that Costa and Whittaker could rebook a matchup for May 1 or May 8.
Will fight Whittaker
MiddleweightUFC
January 25, 2021
Costa is expected to headline an April 17 event against Robert Whittaker, Brett Okamoto of ESPN.com reports.
ANALYSIS
A location or venue has yet to be announced for the fight. Costa is coming off an unsuccessful UFC middleweight title challenge against Israel Adesanya. his opponent, Whittaker, lost the title to Adesanya in fall of 2019, but has won two consecutive fights since.
Routed by Israel Adesanya
MiddleweightUFC
September 26, 2020
Costa came up short in his quest for the UFC Middleweight Championship on Saturday, falling to Israel Adesanya via TKO (punches) at 3:59 of Round 2 at UFC 253 in Abu Dhabi.
ANALYSIS
Perhaps it was nothing more than a bad stylistic matchup or poor game planning, but this fight literally could not have gone any worse for Costa. Simply put, not only did he not appear to be on Adesanya's level, but there are any number middleweights who could have put forth the effort Costa did on Saturday. Knowing full well Adesanya throws a ton of kicks, Costa allowed his opponent to chop his lead leg with strikes. The Brazilian tried to be patient and pick his spots offensively, but Adesanya was beating him up so badly on the feet that he never got the chance. Costa would have been better off going for broke immediately and letting the chips fall where they may. Costa's detractors would say he's a one-punch knockout artist with a limited offensive arsenal, and quite honestly, that assessment looks pretty reasonable at the moment. Time is still on Costa's side because he won't turn 30 years of age until next April, but it's difficult to envision a scenario in which he can ever compete against an elite middleweight such as Adesanya. Costa is very much at a career crossroads despite the fact this was his first professional loss.
Finally getting title shot
MiddleweightUFC
July 18, 2020
Costa (biceps) is scheduled to face Israel Adesanya at UFC 253 on Sept. 26 in a middleweight title fight, Raphael Marinho of Combate.com reports.
ANALYSIS
The fight was originally supposed to take place back in March, but a slow recovery from biceps surgery left Costa unable to compete. The injury has kept the 29-year-old Brazilian out of competition since August 2019, whereas Adesanya has already successfully defended his middleweight title once this year. Early oddsmakers place Costa as a slight betting underdog, with most books listing him at +120.