After falling short at UFC 263, what’s next for Marvin Vettori?

This past Saturday in the main event of UFC 263, Marvin Vettori (17-5-1) got his shot at the middleweight title. Vettori took on the middleweight champion Israel Adesanya (21-1) in a rematch from their first fight back in 2018.

In 2018, Adesanya was able to win a split decision. That split decision result actually gave Marvin Vettori a ton of confidence heading into UFC 263. That result and seeing how Jan Blachowicz beat Adesanya earlier this year had Vettori believing his victory was inevitable.

However, it wasn’t meant to be on Saturday night. Adesanya just seemed a step ahead of Vettori all night. Vettori had his legs chewed up by brutal kicks from Adesanya and Vettori really wasn’t able to get Adesanya to the ground.

There were a couple of times where Vettori landed takedowns, but nothing much resulted from them. In the end, all three judges at UFC 263 gave every round to the defending champion and Adesanya retained his title.

What’s next after UFC 263?

Since 2017, Marvin Vettori has gone 6-2-1 in his nine UFC fights. The lone man to defeat him twice is Israel Adesanya. That puts Vettori in a really tough spot in the division because even if he goes on a winning streak, a third fight is a really tough sell.

That said, what should be next for The Italian Dream? Well, after UFC 263, Vettori said that he wanted to fight Paulo Costa (13-1). Costa hasn’t fought since last year when he was dominated by Adesanya at UFC 253.

Paulo Costa has also said online that he would like to fight Marvin Vettori next. Given where both men stand in the UFC’s middleweight division, a fight between the two makes sense. They’re both near the top of the weight class and they are both coming off of title losses.

Costa has been going back-and-forth with the UFC over his pay and pulled out of his fight with Jared Cannonier to protest. At the end of the day, Costa really doesn’t have any leverage and I think he’ll ultimately be booked for a fight soon. My guess is that fight is going to be against Marvin Vettori.

UFC: Dana White blasts Paulo Costa for demanding more money

UFC, Dana White

Last week we learned that Paulo Costa (13-1) had withdrawn from his UFC main event in August. Costa was set to take on Jared Cannonier. The fight would have been Costa’s first since his failed attempt to become middleweight champion at UFC 253.

The initial reasons for Costa’s withdraw were unknown. This was the second straight main event spot that Costa had withdrawn from. Back in April, Costa withdrew from a main event against former UFC middleweight champion Robert Whittaker. That time, Costa had the flu which is why he had to withdraw from the fight.

However, this time was something completely different. Costa took to Twitter where he voiced some current frustrations with the UFC. The former middleweight title challenger said he never signed a contract for his August fight and he expects more money if they want him to fight.

These comments were brought to UFC president Dana White this week by TSN. In an interview with TSN. White spoke openly about Costa’s recent remarks and he didn’t hold anything back in regards to Paulo Costa.

UFC Fighter Pay Issue

White told TSN, “Guess what, you (Costa) should’ve started a YouTube channel when you were f**king 13 years old and built your name up. But guess what, you didn’t. You’re not a f**king YouTuber, you’re a fighter. You’re in no position to be talking about crazy money after your last performance.”

Of course, White is referencing Costa’s UFC 253 performance as well as the Paul brothers with that comment. Costa knows the Paul brothers and he’s trained with Logan Paul. Logan Paul made an estimated $20 million for his boxing exhibition against Floyd Mayweather Sunday night.

I think the majority of people would like to see UFC fighters make more money. Jon Jones has been one of the athletes who’s been the most vocal in regards to demanding more money from the promotion.

Now, I can also see the UFC’s side of things. The UFC’s stance is that fighters sign a contract and they have no obligation to pay more than the contract states. Usually, the promotion pays more than the listed pay, but some fighters still believe that the number is far too low.

Paulo Costa is one of those fighters. Now, in this case, I have to side with Dana White. In reality, Paulo Costa is in no position to demand more money from the UFC. His last performance was atrocious and he’s not a massive draw. Jon Jones has an argument, Paulo Costa simply does not.

Ultimately, I think Costa will take a fight with the UFC in the next few months once things settle down. However, I guarantee that he’s not going to see a bump in his pay for his next fight.

UFC: Kelvin Gastelum steps in for Paulo Costa to take on Jared Cannonier

The highly anticipated UFC main event between Paulo Costa (13-1) and Jared Cannonier (13-5) is off. ESPN’s Brett Okamoto was the first to report this evening that Costa has withdrawn from the main event that is currently scheduled for August 21st.

This is the second straight UFC main event that Costa has withdrawn from. Costa was originally supposed to fight former UFC middleweight champion Robert Whittaker back in April. However, an illness forced him to withdraw from that matchup.

Kelvin Gastelum (16-7, 1 NC) stepped in for Costa to take on the former UFC champion. Now, Gastelum will be replacing Costa once again. Okamoto reported that Kelvin Gastelum has already accepted the fight and will be taking on Jared Cannonier on August 21st.

New UFC Main Event

This is a big opportunity for the former UFC Ultimate Fighter winner Kelvin Gastelum. As mentioned, the last time we saw Gastelum was back in April when he lost to Robert Whittaker. That loss dropped Gastelum to 1-4 in his last five fights. Granted, he was coming off of a good win against Ian Heinisch when he fought Whittaker.

For years, Kelvin Gastelum struggled to make the UFC’s welterweight limit. After multiple failed attempts to make 170, Gastelum moved up to middleweight. He rose to the top of the division and on the heels of a knockout over former UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping, Gastelum earned himself a title shot.

Gastelum fought Israel Adesanya for the interim middleweight title and came up short. After that loss, Gastelum lost two more to bring his UFC losing streak to three. He snapped that earlier this year. Gastelum needs a win over one of the top guys in the division to prove he’s still one of the best.

Fighting Jared Cannonier gives him the chance to do that. Like Gastelum, Cannonier is coming off of a loss to Robert Whittaker. That loss was Cannonier’s first loss in the UFC’s middleweight division. Prior to that loss, Cannonier was 3-0 with three TKOs to start his middleweight career. While it’s not the main event we thought we’d get, this should be a fantastic matchup on August 21st.

UFC books headliner between Paulo Costa and Jared Cannonier

The UFC has finalized a big time headliner in their middleweight division. Dana White confirmed with ESPN’s Brett Okamoto this evening that the promotion had finalized a headliner between Paulo Costa (13-1) and Jared Cannonier (13-5).

The matchup will headline a UFC Fight Night on August 21st. Both of these men are looking to bounce back after losses in their last time out. Cannonier took on Robert Whittaker at UFC 254 on Fight Island.

Entering that matchup, Cannonier was 3-0 at middleweight with three TKO victories. The Killa Gorilla looked like he was going to be the next challenger for the champion, Israel Adesanya.

However, to get a title shot, Cannonier had to defeat the former champion in Whittaker. While Cannonier was able to hurt Whittaker a little in the third round, the fight was all Robert Whittaker.

Whittaker won a decision and Cannonier suffered his first loss at 185. However, there is no shame in losing to Robert Whittaker and that’s why Cannonier’s stock didn’t fall much. Now, the UFC is giving him the opportunity to get right back in the title picture with this headlining spot.

UFC redemption for Costa

A month prior to Cannonier’s matchup against Whittaker, Paulo Costa got his shot at the middleweight title. In the main event of UFC 253 on Fight Island, the undefeated Costa took on Israel Adesanya.

Costa’s blistering style and power was expected to challenge Stylebender. However, Costa put on a horrific performance and Adesanya stopped him in the second round. If I remember correctly, I don’t think Costa landed a single significant shot with his hands.

After the fight, Costa came forward with some odd excuses like the fact that he drank until he blacked out the night before his fight. However, most don’t believe some of the stories that he’s told.

Nevertheless, UFC 253 was an embarrassment for Costa. Costa was supposed to fight Robert Whittaker last month, but he had to pull out after getting sick. Now, the promotion is putting him in there with another top contender in Cannonier. Whoever wins this matchup should be on the short list for title challengers in early 2022.

After his big win at UFC Vegas 22, what’s next for Derek Brunson?

Derek Brunson

This past Saturday at UFC Vegas 22, Derek Brunson (22-7) was once again tasked with taking on a promotional hype train. This time, the hype train was that of Kevin Holland (21-6). Holland was on the shortlist for male fighter of the year in 2020 after going 5-0.

Derek Brunson has been with the UFC for a very long time. He’s also been one of the more consistent fighters at middleweight over the last several years. Brunson has only lost to the very best that middleweight has to offer.

When a contender defeats Derek Brunson, they are well on their way to either being a UFC champion or challenging for a title. Israel Adesanya, Robert Whittaker, and Yoel Romero are the best examples.

However, since Brunson seems to lose to the elite of the elite at middleweight, the UFC has unofficially given him this gate keeper status. Last August, Brunson took on Edmen Shahbazyan. Shahbazyan was supposed to be the next big thing, but Brunson finished him.

As a reward, the UFC gave Brunson the next hype train in Kevin Holland. Holland’s precision striking looked like it was going to be an issue for Brunson. At times on Saturday night, it was. However, at the end of the day, Brunson went out and grinded out a dominant decision and once again derailed a hype train.

What’s next after UFC Vegas 22?

Now that Brunson has derailed two consecutive hype trains, what will the UFC give him next? In his post-fight interview, Brunson made a callout and it’s actually one that makes a lot of sense in my opinion.

Brunson used his moment in the spotlight to challenge Paulo Costa (13-1). Costa recently had to pull out of his upcoming main event against Robert Whittaker due to an illness. At the moment, there’s not a timetable for his return.

However, if he’s able to return in the summer, the UFC should set this fight up. Costa is coming off of a title fight loss and Brunson is on a winning streak. Costa wants to get back on track and Brunson wants to prove he can challenge for the title. To me, it’s the perfect matchup to setup.

UFC: Kelvin Gastelum steps in to face Robert Whittaker on April 17th

Earlier today, we learned that the UFC‘s main event on April 17th had lost one of it’s headliners. Paulo Costa (13-1) came down with the flu and as a result he couldn’t train for his upcoming main event slot against Robert Whittaker (22-5).

As a result, Costa had to pull out of the fight. The UFC was thinking about potentially moving the fight back, but with the uncertainty of Costa’s condition, they decided to move on to try and find a replacement.

Former interim title challenger, Kelvin Gastelum (16-6, 1 NC) immediately volunteered. Gastelum just defeated Ian Heinisch back at UFC 258 and after the win, he said he’d stay ready in order to step in for one of the upcoming middleweight main events.

Sure enough, Costa fell out and a replacement was needed. The UFC contacted Gastelum and the sides came to an agreement. ESPN’s Brett Okamoto was the first to report this evening that the promotion had finalized the deal for Gastelum to step in.

UFC title fight we never saw

Many will remember that this isn’t the first time the UFC has paired these two against each other. Originally, these two were supposed to fight in Australia back in 2019 with the UFC middleweight title on the line.

The day of the fight, Whittaker had to pull out of the fight. Whittaker had to have emergency surgery and was on the sidelines for a while. Gastelum ended up fighting Israel Adesanya for the interim title and came up short.

Adesanya of course would then go on to defeat Robert Whittaker for the undisputed title. We never got to see these two compete for the UFC title. However, now we are going to see them compete in a UFC main event. Whoever wins this matchup is going to put themselves in a great position to be the next challenger.

UFC: Paulo Costa is ill and has pulled out of the Robert Whittaker fight

One of the more anticipated UFC main events in the next month is off. Paulo Costa (13-1) has come down with the flu and he has pulled out of his main event against former middleweight champion, Robert Whittaker (22-5).

The news of Costa withdrawing has been confirmed after AG.Fight initially reported that the fight could be in trouble. Costa has come down with the flu. The flu has him to the point where he cannot properly train for the main event slot.

The matchup was set to take place on April 17th. This is one of many fights in the UFC‘s middleweight division over the next month that is being looked at as a potential title eliminator considering these are the top two guys in the division.

For Costa, this fight was supposed to be a chance for redemption. Costa got his title shot at UFC 253 and fell completely flat against Israel Adesanya (20-1). The fight was completely dominated by Stylebender. Costa has blamed a night of drinking wine for his poor performance at UFC 253.

Tough break for the former UFC champion

As of now the UFC is currently talking about pushing this fight back to either May 1st or May 8th if Costa can be ready. If not, there is also talk about potentially seeking out a different opponent for Whittaker, although, the promotion would like to keep these two paired.

You have to really feel for Robert Whittaker. Whittaker was dominant in his run to the middleweight title and has only lost once at 185 pounds. After he lost his UFC title, he’s gone on to defeat the top two contenders who Israel Adesanya was interested in facing.

In reality, Whittaker deserves a rematch with Adesanya, but the UFC hasn’t given that to him. Instead, he is being forced to fight another top contender to earn that shot. This will be a situation to monitor over the coming days.

Paulo Costa blames wine and lack of sleep for UFC 253 loss

We are a few months removed from UFC 253. That night, the middleweight champion, Israel Adesanya (20-0), took on the previously unbeaten challenger, Paulo Costa (13-1). The fight was one of the more anticipated matchups of 2020.

However, the fight failed to live up to the hype mainly due to the challenger. While Adesanya was brilliant in scoring the knockout win at UFC 253, Costa fought extremely flat. He didn’t land anything significant before Adesanya landed the finishing blows.

It was such an odd performance from Paulo Costa. Prior to that loss, Costa was always known as someone who pushes forward with a ridiculous pace. However, at UFC 253, Costa was stuck on the outside and he didn’t push forward at all.

This left a lot of fans scratching their heads. Costa is currently prepping for his next matchup against Robert Whittaker. Their fight takes place in April and the winner is likely going to get another crack at the UFC middleweight champion.

Costa has broken his silence about his last performance. Over the weekend, Costa took to his YouTube page to talk about the loss. In all honesty, I was a little surprised to hear what he had to say and what he attributes the loss to.

UFC 253 sabotaged by a hangover?

On the UFC 253 loss, Costa said, “I was kind of drunk when I fought, maybe hungover. I couldn’t sleep because of leg cramps. The UFC told us to wake up at 5 in the morning to go to the arena to fight. I hadn’t slept until 2:30.”

“It was my mistake and I don’t blame anyone else, it was something I chose [to do], but, in order to try to sleep, because I had to sleep since I was awake for 24 hours, I had wine, too much wine, a bottle to try to black out. I had a glass and didn’t work. Two glasses, it didn’t work. Half bottle, didn’t work. I had it all.”

Clearly, it doesn’t sound like the condition were ideal for Costa. However, it’s not like his experience on Fight Island was unique. All of the fighters had to go through the same issues when they were fighting in Abu Dhabi.

Now, maybe there were more factors at play here. Perhaps the nerves of the moment caused Costa to be anxious which prevented him from sleeping. There are a number of question marks, but it was clear that we didn’t see the usual Costa back in September.

When he steps into the cage next, he needs to prove to the UFC and himself that the last fight was a fluke. Costa must show the world that he’s still the Paulo Costa we thought he was if he wants any chance at a rematch with Israel Adesanya.

UFC books headliner between Darren Till and Marvin Vettori

The UFC is making moves with their middleweight division. Last night, we learned that the promotion had finalized a bout between Paulo Costa and Robert Whittaker that would headline a Fight Night on April 17th. 

Today, ESPN’s Brett Okamoto was the first to report that the UFC has finalized another incredible middleweight matchup. On April 10th, Darren Till (18-3-1) and Marvin Vettori (16-4-1) will headline another Fight Night.

This is going to be a massive seven day stretch for the middleweight division. Darren Till last fought back in July when he took on former UFC champion, Robert Whittaker (22-5).

The fight was extremely close, but Whittaker pulled out a decision. Till was originally supposed to headline a card against Jack Hermansson (21-6) in December, however he ended up injured and the promotion moved to Kevin Holland (21-5).

However, Holland ended up testing positive for COVID and he was pulled from that fight. That is when Marvin Vettori stepped into the picture. Vettori had another fight booked, but stepped up for the UFC and took that fight against Hermansson.

UFC’s Middleweight Division

Marvin Vettori looked sensational in December when he fought Hermansson. In his first UFC headliner, Vettori dropped and hurt Hermansson early on. He went on to dominate the fight for all five rounds.

The win was a massive statement and the fourth straight for Vettori. Vettori now finds himself fourth in the UFC’s middleweight rankings one spot behind Darren Till. However, Vettori has expressed frustrations with being ranked behind Till.

Nevertheless, now the two will get a chance to prove who is the better fighter. As mentioned, this is a huge seven day stretch for the middleweight division. Let us not forget that Kevin Holland and Derek Brunson (21-7) are also headlining a Fight Night on March 20th. 

This stretch from March through April has big implications for the middleweight division. Israel Adesanya (20-0) is moving up to challenge for the light heavyweight title, however, upon his return to middleweight, there should be a lot of clarity with all these matchups.

UFC books Robert Whittaker – Paulo Costa

The UFC has finalized a massive fight in their middleweight division this evening. First reported by Sherdog, the promotion has booked a headliner between former middleweight champion, Robert Whittaker (22-5), and Paulo Costa (13-1).

This UFC main event will take place on April 17th. For the last month or two, this fight was being rumored. The current middleweight champion, Israel Adesanya (20-0), is moving up to challenge for the light heavyweight championship at UFC 259.

Robert Whittaker was due for a rematch against Adesanya. Whittaker went 2-0 in 2020 and the two guys he beat were supposed to get title shots had they beaten Whittaker. However, Whittaker messed up those plans.

Bobby Knuckles has only lost once in the last six years in the middleweight division. That one loss has come to Israel Adesanya. If there’s anyone that deserves a rematch, it’s Robert Whittaker. However, Dana White recently said that Whittaker would have to fight again before getting that UFC title shot.

Big UFC Middleweight Battle

That is where Borrachinha enters the picture. Paulo Costa is coming off of a loss to Israel Adesanya back at UFC 253. Costa was the unbeaten challenger who many felt would push Adesanya to the limits.

However, Costa had a really tough time getting going against Adesanya. Adesanya brutalized him with leg kicks and shots from the outside. Eventually, the UFC champion caught Costa and put him down for good in the second round.

Costa got right back in the gym after the fight and he’s been making improvements. His team has been calling for a shot at Whittaker with Adesanya moving up for now and they got their wish.

However, originally Costa’s management wanted this fight to be for the interim UFC middleweight title. Dana White said recently that there would be no interim title despite the fact that Adesanya is moving up.

As of now, the UFC’s plan is for Adesanya to face the winner later in the year. Adesanya has made it clear that he plans to return to middleweight after capturing a second title. One of these two killers will be waiting for him upon his return.