Brazilian middleweight Paulo Costa says he made a series of poor decisions the night before his first UFC title fight in September, leading to the worst performance of his career in MMA.
Costa, 30, is scheduled to fight Marvin Vettori in the main event of UFC Fight Night on October 23. It will be his first appearance since suffering the first setback of his career, a second-round knockout loss to Israel Adesanya at UFC 253 in Abu Dhabi.
In the wake of the loss, Costa said on his YouTube channel that he consumed a bottle of wine the night before the fight in an effort to fall asleep.
In an interview with ESPN on Thursday, Costa said his first mistake the night before the fight was putting in a tough training session. Costa, who loses a lot of weight to compete in the middleweight division, said he does not normally train on weigh-in day, the day before the fight, but chose to do so because there was more recovery time in Abu Dhabi due to the difference in hour.
“My weight cut was very difficult, but it is always difficult,” Costa told ESPN. “The problem is that in Abu Dhabi, the fight happens in the morning, not at night. So, you have one more night. [de recuperación]. And what happened is, after my weight cut, I recovered very well. But then I trained so hard. I was so confident that I trained hard. I trained more than recommended after a weight cut. And I think this caused a lot of problems in my body. I had a lot of cramps and had a lot of trouble sleeping. “
Costa (13-1) went on to say that he took a supplement containing ginger, which was supposed to help ease his cramps, but made him feel more awake. He said it’s not unusual for him to consume small amounts of wine at night to get to sleep, and since the night dragged on and he still couldn’t sleep, he finally decided to use that as a last resort.
“I had decided to fight. I would not let this fight go down,” Costa said. “After the physical therapist left my room, I went to bed, but couldn’t sleep. I tried melatonin, but it didn’t work. Sometimes I have a glass of wine when I’m feeling a lot of stress, it has helped a little, but only a drink, when I have time to get it out of my body. But it was too late. I was desperate to fall asleep. “
Costa said he is not trying to make excuses for the loss as he said it was his decision to continue the fight and he did so thinking he would win. He also said he has no regrets talking about the bottle of wine, even though some UFC athletes have scoffed at the revelation, including Adesanya.
Despite the loss, Costa remains the UFC’s No. 3 middleweight. He believes that a win over Vettori, who also lost in a title match against Adesanya in June, will give him another championship fight.