UFC: Anthony Johnson Slams Paulo Costa For Demanding A Rematch

Former UFC light heavyweight title challenger Anthony Johnson, has hit out at Paulo Costa for demanding a rematch following his loss to Israel Adesanya at UFC 253.

Costa was handed his first professional loss when he was dominated by Adesanya in a one-sided title fight, before being finished in the second round. Soon after the loss, ‘The Eraser’ demanded a rematch, much to the disgust of Johnson.

Showboating Gone Wrong

Speaking to Mike Swick on his podcast (as transcribed by MMA Mania), Johnson shared his thoughts on the UFC 253 main event.

“I figured that was gonna happen,” Johnson said on Adesanya’s win. “Costa is a little flat footed, a little bit. He’ll pressure you, he knows how to go forward. I don’t think he knows how to go backwards. But I’ve trained with ‘Stylebender’, he’s whupped my butt pretty good. Came in the gym, had just finished his kickboxing match a week or two before. And that’s when I had just started my camp and he came and put a beating on me. He’s really good, gotta give him credit, he’s the best.

“But Costa, when you showboat like that you actually, you’re not focused. How many people have played that game and have come out successful? That’s not something to play with, especially not in a championship. Don’t play like that.”

“You Can’t Demand A Rematch”

Not only was Johnson critical of Costa’s showboating during the bout, he also accused the Brazilian of underestimating Adesanya.

“Stylebender was serious, Costa came in thinking that he’s just a white belt, he’s nothing, he’s skinny,” Anthony said. “Hey, being skinny has its advantages, dude. I don’t understand all of a sudden either why Costa is getting so upset after he saw what ‘Stylebender’ did to him, you know? I was like ‘Dude, you were the one talking so much and then he gets you at the end and now you mad? Because he embarrassed you? Come on man, grow some balls. Man up to that.’ It is what it is. You can’t demand a rematch either after a performance like that either. That’s not smart. That’s not gonna sell for sure.”

“I Got Bored…”

Johnson recently announced his return to the Octogon and has also entered the USADA testing pool. ‘Rumble’ explained the reasons for his comeback and his desire to fight again.

“I got bored,” Johnson said. “And watching DC (Daniel Cormier) and Stipe [Miocic] going back at it again for a second time, it just honestly, I was like ‘Man, I’m still right there.’ You know what I mean? So I just want to go out there and test myself again. Because those two men lit a fire under me and made me want to compete again.”

Although Johnson is expected to return soon, the 36 year old American was not ready to make any grand statements or call-outs for his next fight.

“One step at a time,” he said. “I’m coming back and just having fun and whatever happens, happens, and if I don’t, I don’t. I’m not going to put that kind of pressure on myself. But I know how hard I can push myself to get to that level. So I’m just gonna do what I gotta do and let the chips fall where they may.”

Do you agree with Anthony Johnson’s comments on Paulo Costa?

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