The UFC has started to roll out their fall fight schedule and one of the most notable announcements is the middle-weight matchup between Marvin Vettori and Paulo Costa. In a division that has been dominated by champion Israel Adesanya, who has defeated both Vettori and Costa in his last two title defenses.
ESPN’s Brett Okamoto was first told the news via Dana White, confirming a rumored fight that is set to be one of the most intriguing Fight Night main events of the year.
Costa lost to Adesayna a year ago come September and was supposed to fight twice since then, both of which got canceled due to Costa. The first bout was supposed to be against Robert Whittaker, but Costa was unable to make the walk due to lingering Covid-19 symptoms. The next fight that Costa had scheduled was against Jared Cannonier, Costa again pulled out due to disagreements with the UFC over his contract. Similar to Costa, Vettori’s most recent bout was a loss against Adesayna, but only came just recently at UFC 263 via unanimous decision. This was quite a feat for Vettori considering how quickly Adesayna had been finishing most opponents in the 185-pound division.
Paulo Costa vs Marvin Vettori : Clash of the Top Contenders
Paulo Costa (13-1, 8-0 UFC) will look to get back to his winning ways after a brutal loss and subsequent fight cancellations. As per his record, Costa was undefeated going into his title fight last September. Before that fight, Costa was on a tear in the middleweight with dominant wins over the likes of Yoel Romero and Johny Hendricks.
If Costa goes on to win dominantly over Vettori, it may be all he needs to make his argument for another shot at the belt. In a confusing middleweight division, Costa will either separate himself from the pack or fall significantly behind in the number one contender race.
Marvin Vettori (13-5-1, 8-4 UFC) will turn around quickly compared to Costa after his attempt to capture gold. Vettori will look to get back on track after a competitive match which he argued he won, similarly to his first match against Adesanya (which came in 2018). Vettori is a tough night out for anyone in the middleweight division and proved that during his title fight. He will look to utilize his heavy pressure grappling style against a heavy hitter in Costa.
Similar to Costa, if Vettori comes out of this match with a dominant win, he will put himself right back into the title conversation. As well similarly to Costa, another fight after this might be required on route to another title shot. One thing that makes Vettori’s path seemingly a little easier is the fashion in which he lost to the champion. Vettori has two decision losses to Adeysanya in contrast to Costa’s lone TKO loss. For this reason, a Vettori win makes the middleweight division ever more interesting for a champion who is openly not fond of rematches.
One result or another, this fight will surely gain intrigue the closer we get to the date. This match will give some needed closer to the hierarchy of the 185-pound division that has been in need of competition. This is the only fight currently announced for the November 23rd Fight Night.