Joe Rogan believes Israel Adesanya loss took a mental toll on Paulo Costa - "Izzy just lit him up like a Christmas tree"

Paulo Costa (left), Joe Rogan (center) and Israel Adesanya (right)
Paulo Costa (left), Joe Rogan (center) and Israel Adesanya (right)

Joe Rogan has suggested that Paulo Costa’s second-round TKO loss to Israel Adesanya in their UFC middleweight title fight took a mental toll on him.

The loss to Adesanya at UFC 253 in September 2020, marked the first of Costa’s professional MMA career. His next fight was scheduled to be a middleweight bout against Marvin Vettori at UFC Vegas 41 in October 2021.

Unfortunately, ‘The Eraser’ missed weight for the Marvin Vettori matchup. Costa refused to weigh in at middleweight and requested that the fight be contested at light heavyweight. Vettori agreed and the pair clashed in a light heavyweight bout. ‘The Italian Dream’ beat the Brazilian by unanimous decision in a closely-contested fight.

In an edition of the JRE (Joe Rogan Experience) podcast, Joe Rogan touched on Paulo Costa missing weight and his loss to Vettori – both of which transpired after hiss loss against Adesanya. The UFC commentator highlighted that, among other excuses, Costa blamed his loss against the champion on drinking too much wine the night before the fight. Rogan stated:

“I think Adesanya’s fight took a real toll on him mentally.” Rogan added, “There were so many excuses. And it was the way that Israel beat him. I mean, Izzy just lit him up like a Christmas tree. And that was not a competitive fight by any stretch of the imagination. And I think when you’re a guy who steamrolls everybody, and walks down Yoel Romero, and you look like a destroyer – And then this skinny dude just lights you up, and f**ks you up, and then dry h**ps you from behind while beating you up.”

Watch Joe Rogan weigh in on the impact of Paulo Costa’s loss to Israel Adesanya below:

Israel Adesanya on Paulo Costa’s loss to Marvin Vettori

In a video posted to his ‘FREESTYLEBENDER’ YouTube channel, Israel Adesanya addressed Paulo Costa’s defeat against Marvin Vettori. Adesanya praised his longtime rivals for their back-and-forth fight and explained:

"I just didn't think [Marvin] Vettori was going to stand and strike with him, which was surprising to see. I said he would try to wrestle, I felt he would have had better success [wrestling]. Costa came in heavy, but he didn't wrestle... What surprised me the most about Costa? I mean, he did right. It's that leg kicks, I wish he did that more."

Watch Adesanya's full breakdown of the matchup here:


Paulo Costa, on his part, has hinted that he’d like his next fight to be contested at middleweight. His next opponent and comeback date are yet to be revealed. Meanwhile, UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya is set to defend his title in a rematch against Robert Whittaker at UFC 271 on February 12th.

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Edited by Dave