Saturday’s UFC Fight Night main event between Paulo Costa and Marvin Vettori took a few odd twists and turns in the days ahead of the bout. At Wednesday’s media day in Las Vegas, Costa announced he was 211 pounds and would be unable to cut to the middleweight limit of 185 pounds. Negotiations over the weight then drifted to 190, 195, 198, and eventually, 205 pounds, with Vettori accepting every change along the way.
“So basically, I came in, ready to make weight, ready to make 185 as always,” Vettori said in an Instagram video. “I came in and a little bit after, they told me Costa is overweight. First, they wanted to do 190, and 190 wasn’t enough so 195 then 198, and then 198 was good for a while, we signed a contract for 195 and then he says 195 he can’t make it. So we’re up to 205.”
It’s an odd situation for the two former middleweight title challengers but one that reflects some of the struggles Costa has faced recently. After suffering a knockout loss in a one-sided fight with champion Israel Adesanya, Costa claimed he drank too much wine the night before the fight and was dealing with a hangover when he suffered his first career loss. He then pulled out of a fight with Robert Whittaker due to illness and withdrew from a planned fight with Jared Cannonier, claiming he never signed the bout agreement while tweeting, “UFC needs to pay me as main fighter to have fighting in main events. Youtubers are showing all disgrace on this business.”
During fight week, Costa also claimed to have battled COVID-19 twice since the start of the pandemic while stating he would continue refusing to take the vaccine.
Vettori is also coming off a loss to Adesanya, though he managed to get to the judges’ scorecards in his shot at the championship. The loss snapped a five-fight winning streak for Vettori, a streak that dated back to another decision loss to Adesanya.
Here’s the fight card for UFC Fight Night with the latest odds from Ceasars Sportsbook.
UFC Fight Night card, odds
|Seung Woo Choi (10-3) -280||Alex Caceres (18-12) +230||Featherweight|
|Francisco Trinaldo (26-8) -135||Dwight Grant (11-3) +115||Welterweight|
|Nicolae Negumereanu (10-1) -220||Isaac Villanueva (18-12) +180||Light heavyweight|
UFC Fight Night viewing information
Date: Oct. 23 | Start time: 4 p.m. ET
Location: UFC Apex — Las Vegas, Nevada
TV Channel: ESPN+
Marvin Vettori vs. Paulo Costa: What a weird situation this is. Vettori feels like the right pick just based on Costa seeming to not be right mentally since the Adesanya fight. That said, Costa has always been a huge middleweight and now is entering the fight as a light heavyweight, seemingly never having planned on cutting weight, while Vettori was taking all needed steps to get down to 185 pounds. That weight could be a big factor in Costa finding success, or could lead to him gassing out quickly. It’s still probably the safest pick to go with Vettori based on the mental game and having a grinding style that could burn out Costa’s iffy cardio. Pick: Marvin Vettori via UD