No. 2 ranked middleweight contender Paulo Costa has not fought since he lost his title shot to the defending UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya via second round TKO at UFC 253 in Sept. 2020.
After he pulled out of scheduled bouts with Robert Whittaker and Jared Cannonier this year, Costa (13-1) is now scheduled to fight no. 4 ranked middleweight Marvin Vettori in a five round main event Oct. 23.
Vettori (17-4-1) is also coming off a title shot loss, as ‘The Italian Dream’ suffered a defeat to Adesanya via unanimous decision in the main event of UFC 263.
As far as Costa’s mindset for this fight, ‘Borrachinha’ is taking a high stakes approach.
“Man, I think about myself like a gambler,” Costa said to ESPN’s Brett Okamoto. “When you go to the casino and put ‘all in’ always, this is the kind of fighter that I am. I go with ‘all in’ always.
“I put my life on this sport [from] a long time ago. I’m not here to take part, I’m here to take over, McGregor said that, I like that.”
Costa added that spectators will see the Costa of old in his fight with Vettori.
“It will be a wild fight. You understand? Savage,” Costa said. “Everybody will see the old savage Paulo Costa. Going forward, so aggressive and sober.”
With a victory over Vettori, Costa could easily see himself be propelled right back into title contention.