Paulo Costa
The Eraser


Finally getting title shot
July 18, 2020
Costa (biceps) is scheduled to face Israel Adesanya at UFC 253 on Sept. 19 in a middleweight title fight, Raphael Marinho of reports.
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.
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Unavailable to fight until April
October 30, 2019
Costa suffered a setback while recovering from bicep surgery and will not be ready to fight until April, Guilherme Cruz of reports.
Costa had originally targeted a date in December for a title match against Israel Adesanya, but with the reported setback in his recovery from surgery, Costa will not be able to compete for some time and Adesanya will instead fight someone else in Costa's place. The fight between Costa and Adesanya is one that fans are getting very hyped up to watch. They are both undefeated and they both genuinely hate each other's guts. The fight has the potential to break all kinds of UFC pay-per-view records but it will have to wait until the spring as Costa now needs additional time to recover from his procedure.
Move up in weight recommended
August 29, 2019
Costa (foot) was one of six fighters the California State Athletic Commission recommended a move up in weight class in the aftermath of UFC 241, Alexander K. Lee of reports.
While the recommendation has Costa's overall health in mind, it's merely a recommendation that doesn't really have any teeth at this time. With Costa on the verge of a title shot after his UFC 241 victory over Yoel Romero, it's highly unlikely he suddenly decides to give up his spot in the middleweight division. Even Costa's manager, Wallid Ismail, stressed that "It's a recommendation, not an obligation." This recommendation was sparked by the fact that Costa weighed in at 186 pounds for his fight with Romero, but bulked back up to 213.8 points on fight night, an increase of 14.9 percent. Typically, CSAC recommends this move to any fighter that checks in more than 15 percent heavier than their weigh-in mark on fight night. The other five fighters receiving a similar recommendation include Manny Bermudez, Brandon Davis, Kyung Ho Kang, Sabina Mazo and Soadique Yussuf. Of that group, only Bermudez -- who weighed in 17.7 percent higher than his contracted weight on fight night -- appears to be in any real danger of having licensing trouble at his current weight class (bantamweight).
Suffers possible foot injury
August 19, 2019
Costa was suspended 180 days by the California State Athletic Commission following his UFC 241 victory over Yoel Romero due to a possible right foot fracture, Steven Marrocco of reports.
Costa escaped with a narrow decision over Romero despite coming up short in the overall significant strike tally, but his impressive performance nonetheless led many to believe he would be next up for a title shot. That notion may have to be put on hold until 2020, however, though Costa's management team has already denied reports of a serious foot injury. They claim he spent a three-hour stay in the hospital Saturday night, at which point he was cleared after undergoing X-rays. In any case, he'll need to prove a clean bill of health if he's going to get booked for a fight prior to next February. With Robert Whittaker and Israel Adesanya scheduled to unify the middleweight title in October, Costa will presumably be next up to face the winner.
Beats Yoel Romero, title shot next?
August 17, 2019
Costa defeated Yoel Romero via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28) at UFC 241 on Saturday in Anaheim.
It took multiple tries to get this thing booked, but it was well worth the wait. Costa did two things in this fight exceedingly well. First, he constantly and effectively pounded Romero to the body. Costa was credited with 42 body strikes compared to just seven from Yoel. Second, Costa was the one that constantly pushed the pace. Romero allowed Paulo to lead the dance and Costa took full advantage. It looked good in the eyes of the judge's in a fight that was close and ultimately went the distance. Paulo got hit too much, particularly in the head, and his cardio looked suspect, but he went 15 minutes against the closest thing the UFC has to a real-life superhero and deserved to win the fight. Costa asked for the winner of the upcoming Robert Whittaker v. Israel Adesanya UFC Middleweight Championship fight and he probably deserves the opportunity after this performance. Furthermore, both Costa and Romero will rightfully take home $50,000 Fight of the Night bonuses after putting on an outstanding show.
Booked again vs. Yoel Romero
May 8, 2019
Costa will take on Yoel Romero in a middleweight matchup at UFC 241 on Aug. 17 at the Honda Center in Anaheim.
This is a fight that had been previously booked on three separate occasions, but Romero has had several issues gaining medical clearance, while Costa was recently handed a retroactive USADA suspension due to a medication he had been using to address a stomach issue. That suspension has already passed, clearing "The Eraser" for a long-anticipated matchup with Romero later this summer. Costa has gotten off to a red-hot start to his MMA career, picking up four consecutive stoppage victories with his fists within the first two rounds. He's landing an astonishing 8.83 significant strikes per minute, though that number is likely to regress to the mean with a larger sample size. Romero will be his toughest test to date, as even at 42 years old, he's coming off a pair of fights for the ages against champion Robert Whittaker -- the most recent of which could have easily gone his way. Costa may be the slightly taller man and classically better striker, but Romero is an Olympic silver medalist in freestyle wrestling that took down the champion three times in their last bout. Costa does have a 81 percent takedown defense, but he was brought to the mat twice by the lesser Oluwale Bamgbose before coming back for the TKO win. Costa may have youth on his side, but any momentum built during the start of his UFC tenure will likely be halted by August, as it will be over a year between fights for the 28-year-old.