Paulo Costa reportedly needs to drop a significant 25 pounds in the next two weeks ahead of his title fight against Israel Adesanya.
The Brazilian athlete is set to face off against the middleweight champion at UFC 253 on Fight Island on September 26. However, the six-foot-tall Costa currently stands at 210 pounds, meaning he has just weeks to shed the additional weight and make the 185-pound limit for middleweight title fights.
According to Costa, he usually stands at around 200-205 pounds before a full weight cut but he bulked up during his training preparation for UFC 253 and at one point weighed 220 pounds.
Despite the mammoth task, the undefeated athlete seems unfazed by his weight cut, having had no problem making weight for his 13 previous bouts. If he doesn’t make weight for his clash against Israel Adesanya, it will jeopardize his chances of claiming the belt.
Deiveson Figueiredo, for context, missed weight for his clash against Joseph Benavidez and subsequently forfeited his right to the title. Fortunately for him, he was able to make weight in their rematch in July and finished his rival by a rear-naked choke in the first round.
Time will tell if Paulo Costa can make weight and overthrow the middleweight champion. But for the meantime, he remains confident that everything will run smoothly.
“After I beat Romero I am certain that people who had some doubts about my skills, they changed their minds,” Costa said to SCMP MMA recently. “People started to believe I was the really, real deal, just not another guy who can fight. In the right moment, I grew up. Under the high pressure, I grew.
“The fight against Romero was a real war,” Costa added. “I am so proud of that fight. It was very important for me. The guys that I work with made me lift myself to another level. I came from jiu-jitsu, and I became a very good boxer but against Romero I think I proved I can wrestle as well. He tried to take me down and I managed to avoid the takedowns and that came from the work my team had done with me.
“That showed I could fight for the belt and that’s why I am so confident right now. I will become the new champion.”
Do you think Paulo Costa will make weight for UFC 253?