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Should UFC Cut Paulo Costa Over Weight Controversy?

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The title speaks for itself. Marvin Vettori was scheduled to fight Paulo Costa, the number two ranked fighter in the 185-pound division, at UFC Vegas 41. Forty-eight hours before the Friday morning weigh-ins, Paulo Costa revealed he weighs 96 kilos or 212 pounds, 26 pounds over the 186-pound limit. Furthermore, when asked by John Morgan specifically about his weight, he responded by saying “I think the fight will happen, it just will not happen if he doesn’t want to fight me.”

Should Paulo Costa Suffer Consequences?

Without offering a reason, showing remorse, or apologizing, Costa seems to think the onus is on Vettori to meet his weight request, not on himself to meet the agreed-upon weight. Costa went on later in the interview to say that he will tell us after the fight why he is so far over the limit, but barring an injury or medical condition, almost 30 pounds over the agreed-upon weight at the beginning of August is unacceptable.

This event is just a few weeks after both Dan Hooker and Nasrat Haqparast made weight with extremely difficult circumstances. Both men had visa issues and arrived in Las Vegas mere hours before their weigh-in and subsequent fight. Nasrat lost his mother just under two weeks before fight night and wasn’t over by a single pound. Paul Felder made the 156-pound weight limit on just 3 days’ notice, starting at 178 pounds. Felder went on to give one of the most passionate post-fight interviews dedicated to all the fighters who missed weight for that card. Here we are, less than two days before weigh-ins, and Costa, the second-ranked 185-pound fighter in the world, not even trying.

There have been more and more instances of people coming in over. Some just a pound or two after a hard cut, some closer to 3 or 4 pounds- triggering some thoughts that maybe, just maybe, they do it on purpose. There is a subset of people who believe that fighters may miss weight by a few pounds and forfeit a portion of their pay, to have an easier cut and weigh more in the octagon. Fighters like Israel Adesanya, the current middleweight champion in the UFC, could be heard after his win over Costa speaking to Dana White, saying “30% isn’t enough,” referring to the missed weight penalty. Since you forfeit 30% of your earnings if you miss weight, if a fighter is overweight by 5 pounds close enough to weigh-ins, they may decide to not cut the extra weight, forfeit some money, and be in better condition to fight when the time comes.

All of this suffice to say, missing weight is happening all too often in the UFC. As the premier MMA promotion, they cannot allow for such a lackadaisical approach to the rules. Barring a situation out of Paulo Costa’s control, if it is found that he just didn’t cut enough weight without a viable reason as to why he had issues, he should be cut. An example needs to be made, the UFC should not put up with blatant disrespect for their promotion, the other fighters, and every fighter who basically kills themselves in the gym and in the sauna so that the scale reads correctly. Do not allow for this behavior to be tolerated Dana, do the right thing, send a message, and cut Costa following his loss to Marvin Vettori on October 23rd.

Follow Tom Kowalsky at @PickinFightsTom on Twitter, @PickinFights on Instagram, and his weekly UFC Betting show on YouTube. You can also check out Tom and his team over at, as well as Stay up to date with the latest MMA News and Discussions @OTHeroicsMMA!

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Tom Kowalsky is an avid UFC/MMA watcher and has spent time practicing martial arts himself for years. Tom Graduated the University of Maryland in 2019 with a degree in Economics and Entrepreneurship. He started a YouTube show in 2021 call PickinFights where he discusses the weeks upcoming card with new weekly guests and became a writer for Overtime Heroics in September of 2021. Follow Tom Kowalsky at @PickinFightsTom on Twitter, @PickinFights on Instagram.