Paulo "Borrachinha" Costa is the current #5 ranked UFC Middleweight Fighter with a professional MMA record of 13-wins and 2-losses. Costa holds a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and is a former Jungle Fight Middleweight Champion.
Paulo Costa started his combat sports journey at age 9 when he started his Muay Thai training. He later added Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu to his arsenal and started training in the martial art at age 17
Costa transitioned to MMA in the early 2010s and made his professional debut in 2012 at MMA Total Combat: Santa Luzia against Téo Esteves. Costa dominated Esteves and TKO'ed him in the first round. He followed it up by winning his next 2-fights in the Brazilian MMA circuit before signing with the UFC as a participant at The Ultimate Fighter 3: Brazil.
After the show ended, Costa returned to the Brazilian circuit and won 2-fights at FTF before signing with Jungle Fight in 2015.
Paulo made his Jungle Fight debut at JF 84 against Bruno Assis in a one-sided battle that ended in 77 seconds with a Costa TKO victory. Costa got a title shot in his next fight for the promotion against Eduardo Ramon for the vacant JF Middleweight Championship. Costa outclassed Eduardo with his Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu to submit him in the first round to become the champion.
He defended the title once at Jungle Fight 90 before leaving the promotion to join the UFC.
Paulo Costa Ultimate Fighter: Brazil
Paulo Costa entered the third season of the Ultimate Fighter: Brazil in the Middleweight Category. Costa defeated Jose Roberto in the preliminary fights and got picked up by Tea, Silva as their second Middleweight pick.
Paulo fought Marcio Alexandre Jr in the quarterfinal round and put on a respectable performance but came up short as the judge's awarded him the loss via split decision to end Costa's TUF journey.
Paulo Costa UFC
Paulo Costa made his UFC debut against Garreth McLellan at UFC Fight Night: Belfort vs. Gastelum. He quickly defeated McLellan inside 90-seconds to earn a Performance of the Night bonus.
In his first UFC PPV bout, Paulo fought Oluwale Bamgbose at UFC 212. Costa put on a clinical martial arts performance to finish Bamgbose in the second round. He built on this momentum and won his next 3-fights against UFC veterans Johny Hendricks, Uriah Hall, and Yoel Romero to earn a title shot at the UFC Middleweight Championship against Israel Adesanya at UFC 253.
Adesanya outclassed Costa via his kickboxing arsenal and handed Paulo his first defeat in MMA via 2nd round TKO(punches and elbows). He returned to fight after a year against Marvin Vettori at UFC Fight Night: Costa vs. Vettori. Paulo struggled to make Middleweight and forced the bout to be changed to catchweight(190 lbs) and then Light Heavyweight. Costa put on a competitive performance but came up short against the resilient Vettori and lost via unanimous decision.
Paulo Costa vs Marvin Vettori
Paulo Costa fought Marvin Vettori at UFC Fight Night: Costa. Costa remained relatively inactive in the first round and let Vettori take the initiative. He came back in the second round using his superior kickboxing ability to land combos and equalize the fight.
Costa was a back foot in round 3 as he let Vettori determine the pace of the round and land twice as many strikes on the Brazilian. The same story repeated in round 4 as Costa failed to match Vettori's work rate and striking prowess.
Paulo mounted a comeback in round 5 by investing more into the body kicks that damaged Vettori and forced him to be more cautious and defensive. This late fight resurgence wasn't enough for Costa to win the fight on the judge's scorecard, resulting in a unanimous decision loss.
credit: MMA Mania
Paulo Costa Career Stats
Paulo Costa's current record stands at 13-2. He is on a 2-fight losing team in the UFC.