Paulo Costa is looking to fight Marvin Vettori when he makes his return to the Octagon.
Costa has not fought since UFC 253 in September of 2020 where he lost by TKO to Israel Adesanya for the middleweight title. He was set to return in August against Jared Cannonier, but due to undisclosed reasons, Costa withdrew from the fight. Now, the Brazilian is looking to return and has his eyes set on Vettori, Ismail revealed to ESPN’s Brett Okamoto.
Asked MMA manager Wallid Ismail (@WallidJfc) for an update on Paulo Costa (@BorrachinhaMMA). He said the fight he wants to make and is pushing UFC for is Marvin Vettori (@MarvinVettori). Both talk trash, fun matchup. Wallid is trying to make it from his end.
— Brett Okamoto (@bokamotoESPN) July 19, 2021
“Asked MMA manager Wallid Ismail for an update on Paulo Costa. He said the fight he wants to make and is pushing for is Marvin Vettori. Both talk trash, fun matchup. Wallid is trying to make it from his end.”
On paper, a fight between Costa and Vettori certainly makes sense. Both are coming off title fight losses to Adesanya and will need a couple of wins to even potentially get another title shot. It could also headline a Fight Night card as both men are big names, but when the fight would happen is uncertain at this time as there has been no timeframe on when Costa will be ready to fight.
Paulo Costa (13-1), as mentioned, is coming off a second-round TKO loss to Adesanya back in September. The Brazilian is 5-1 in the UFC and holds notable wins over Yoel Romero, Uriah Hall, and Johny Hendricks. Costa is currently ranked second at middleweight and has made it clear he wants the rematch with Adesanya.
Marvin Vettori (17-5-1) is coming off a clear-cut decision loss where he lost all five rounds to Adesanya in his first UFC title shot. The Italian is currently ranked fourth at middleweight and holds notable wins over Kevin Holland, Jack Hermansson, Karl Roberson, and Andrew Sanchez among others. However, if he can beat Costa that would no doubt be the biggest win of his career and set him up for another big fight.
Cole Shelton covers MMA for BJPenn.com, MMANews, and MyMMANews.com while also being the lead MMA odds writer for Sports Betting Dime