Paulo Costa Says He Was Offered UFC Interim Shot
Last week it was announced that Kelvin Gastelum would fight Isreal Adesanya for the UFC interim middleweight title, at UFC 236. Paulo Costa has since come out and said that he was offered the fight with Gastelum. Costa explained to Brazilian YouTube channel Encarada that he was offered the fight after Adesanya had initially turned down the fight. (Translated by MMA Junkie)
“The UFC offered it to Adesanya, (and) he said ‘No, I don’t want to fight for the interim,’. Then the UFC offered me the fight with Gastelum. I said, ‘I’ll take it.’ Then they talked to Adesanya again and Adesanya said yes. Since I was already with (Yoel) Romero, they put Adesanya there and me with Romero.
“Regardless of who wins, Adesanya or Gastelum, when they fight for the title, if it happens, that fight for the title, because there can be injuries, a lot of things can happen. But if they fight for the undisputed title with Whittaker, I believe that, beating Romero, I’ll be next. I’ll be awaiting this fight.”
Costa is scheduled to fight Romero two weeks after UFC 236, in Florida on April 27th.
The unbeaten Costa, knocked out Uriah Hall last July, in his last visit to the Octagon. Gastelum was due to face the current champion, Robert Whittaker, at UFC 234 in Melbourne, before the home favourite had to pull out of the main event just hours ahead of their fight, to have an emergency operation on a hernia.
On the same card, Adesanya beat Anderson Silva. Although the fights was loved by most fans, Adesanya had his critics after the fight. Including Costa.
“OK that it’s Anderson, but Anderson hadn’t fought in two years. [Silva] offered him his face. It showed that [Adesanya] doesn’t have heart, that he doesn’t have that willingness to go for the kill, to go after him
“I think that, if [Adesanya] gets the title, it won’t be for long. I’m on my way. I’m arriving to make his life hell, as well as Gastelum’s, Romero’s, Whittaker’s.”
Who do you think will be the UFC middleweight champion, come the end of the year?