Paulo Costa has wasted no time in getting back to training. He was undefeated at 13-0 heading into UFC 253, but was dominated by Israel Adesanya in a one-sided affair. Losing in the second round via TKO, Paulo Costa had salt rubbed in the wound when Israel Adesanya made an inappropriate gesture from behind after finishing him.
This has seemingly fueled Paulo Costa, with his manager Wallid Ismail stating that the Brazilian's anticipated move up to Light Heavyweight has been postponed since he wants to get revenge against Israel Adesanya.
Paulo Costa posted a video of himself back in training, stating in Portuguese that he plans to return to the Octagon by the end of 2020.
What was interesting about Paulo Costa's rise was the fact that he only fought two Top 15 contenders in Uriah Hall and Yoel Romero before getting a title shot. It seems as though he was fast-tracked and while some predicted that he would outpower Israel Adesanya, the reality was that he had done nothing to put him in danger. Even Wallid Ismail admitted that Paulo Costa is not a tactical fighter, but more of a brawler.
Who is the next best option for Paulo Costa?
As of now, it looks like the Top 5 in the Middleweight division is completely occupied. Robert Whittaker faces Jared Cannonier at UFC 254 in what appears to be a clear-cut No.1 Contender's fight. Yoel Romero was supposed to fight Uriah Hall but the fight was scrapped. Jack Hermansson is set to face Darren Till this December, which means that the only viable options would be Kelvin Gastelum or Derek Brunson.
Derek Brunson makes a lot of sense as Paulo Costa's opponent and ever since joining Henri Hooft, he's found a new-found fire in the Octagon. It would be a great test for Paulo Costa.Published 02 Oct 2020, 09:05 IST