Randy Costa excited for Tony Kelley matchup at UFC 269: ‘I expect us to meet in the middle and throw’

By Cole Shelton - December 9, 2021

Randy Costa knows his UFC 269 fight against Tony Kelley is a fan-friendly one.

Randy Costa, The UFC

After Costa suffered a TKO loss to Adrian Yanez in July, he wanted to fight one more time this year. Although he wasn’t sure what would be next when he got the fighter offer to face Kelley at UFC 269 it was an immediate yes for Costa.

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“I didn’t expect the fight to come to us right away. We had told the UFC that I was ready for a fight but didn’t tell them the timeframe,” Costa said on Just Scrap Radio on BJPENN.com. “They approached us with that matchup on that date. They are putting two guys together that they know who don’t give a f**k and will give bombs. Tony’s a savage, real gritty dude, good cardio, he’s not going to fade or slow down and will always put something in your face. I expect us to meet in the middle and throw. It’s going to be fun, it’s going to be a good fight.”

Entering the fight against Kelley, Costa has heard all the talk that his UFC 269 foe is durable. Yet, he isn’t sure that is the right word to describe his opponent as just like himself, Kelley doesn’t have a ton of fights which Costa says makes it hard to prove he is that durable.

“Everybody is durable, people keep saying he is durable, and respect to him but he is in the same position that I am in. We only have eight or nine pro fights, so how much can you actually know about us if we don’t have that much experience?,” Costa explained. “I do think he is super f*****g durable, but I think it would discredit me and give him too much credit if you say he is overly durable. I don’t think that will be the difference-maker in the fight. He is definitely tough and gritty though.”

Although Tony Kelley has never been finished and Randy Costa is known for his knockouts, he says he won’t force anything in this fight. Instead, he says he’s just focused on controlling what he can control and won’t force anything as he knows that is how he gets caught.

“I just kind of live in the moment, I can only control what I can control,” Costa said. “He might take me down five seconds into the fight and my idea of how the fight will go is completely out the window. I can only control what I can control.”

If Costa gets his hand raised on Saturday night at UFC 269 he knows it would be big for his career. He understands he is far from the bantamweight rankings but he hopes a win over Kelley gets him a notable opponent next in another fan-friendly scrap.

“I think a win over Tony gets me a bigger fight outside the top-15 like a veteran-type dude. Or someone that is coming off a loss outside the top-15,” Costa concluded. “But, I’m not in a rush, dude. I’m young and inexperienced, like going into this fight, this UFC fight will be more fights in the UFC in my professional career than outside the UFC and I’ve only had eight fights. Half of my professional record is in the UFC. I still have so much time.”

Who do you think will win at UFC 269, Randy Costa or Tony Kelley?