Did You Know These 5 Things About Paulo Costa

UFC
February 15, 2024
Every fighter in the torment of an existential dilemma navigates the need to either evolve with the sport or become extinct. The answer can vary: strike a better deal, skyrocket to fame, or seek better competition.

For Paulo Costa, it was a matter of asserting his value and battling for fair compensation. The Brazilian did a complete about-face, putting skin in the social media game with jest-driven content. He opts to pick on topics that can be conversational fodder and detonates ridicule-laden themes that act as dynamite and trigger a response. In doing so, he has become a popular figure and a source of entertainment for fans on X (formerly known as Twitter).

Besides that, the former Ultimate Fighting Championship middleweight title contender returned to winning ways in his last fight against Luke Rockhold at UFC 278. Last year, Costa was scheduled to face Robert Whittaker, Ikram Aliskerov and Khamzat Chimaev on separate occasions. However, none of the bouts materialized and the Brazilian’s 2023 mixed martial arts record remained a blank canvas.

“Borrachinha” will finally make his much-anticipated Octagon return against former middleweight kingpin Robert Whittaker on Feb. 17, 2024, at UFC 298. Ahead of the fight, let’s take a look at five things you might not know about Costa.

He Followed His Brother’s Path to the Cage

Paulo Costa was born in 1991 to Carlos Roberto and Maria Augusta. He was drawn into the martial arts fold by the influence of his older brother, Carlos Costa, who as luck would have it, was a former mixed martial artist himself. Martial arts helped Costa keep a wide berth from street fights and get into a disciplined mindset. He later delved into muay thai at the tender age of nine.

Tragedy Struck Him at a Young Age

Costa was caught in the grip of misfortune when his father passed away from throat cancer when he was 17. This led him to abandon jiu-jitsu for a period. “Borrachinha” returned to the sport after a few years, under the guidance of his brother. He started training in jiu-jitsu once again and put his training to the test under the guidance of his brother.

Breaking Ground

Costa wasn’t born in the lap of luxury. The Brazilian had to endure financial struggles growing up. He shouldered the responsibility of covering household expenses to help his mother. He worked in real estate and also took up a role as an IT teacher, teaching Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel. His mother revealed to ESPN, “When he got older, he had an internship as a computer assistant and also worked in a telemarketing company. He would come home late, like midnight. Then he started working as a realtor. He was making good money, but he had no time to practice.”

A Mother’s Faith

Costa kicked off his professional mixed martial arts journey in Brazil, making his debut in Feb. 2012. His brother, Carlos realized that finding an equilibrium between work, training, and competing was a tall order. Carlos, persuaded their mother to financially back Costa for a year, enabling him to fully dedicate himself to his martial arts career. Over the next five years, the Brazilian demonstrated his skills in the cage, compiling an impressive record of 8–0, featuring seven knockouts and one submission victory.

His brother told his mother, "‘Mom, Paulo doesn't have time. He has a future in fighting. We need to support him.’ But he likes the best clothes and the best sneakers -- I said I would support him but under my conditions. I worked, and everything I did was for them. He quit his job to focus on sports.”

The Belo Horizonte Gamble

Costa was longing for a career-defining moment and he recognized competing on “The Ultimate Fighter” would propel him to new heights. But Costa faced an obstacle. In order to compete in the promotion's hit show, he needed to have three fights under his belt but only had two. Costa and his brother were determined to pull out all the stops to get one more fight. They noticed that there was an event in Belo Horizonte and pulled an attempt to anchor Costa to the card. However, the promoter revealed that the stipulated capacity of the card was tapped out with 13-14 confirmed fights. They stood their ground and requested an opportunity, offering to fight for free if necessary. Recognizing Costa’s determination, the promoter agreed. He scored a first-round TKO victory over Fabio Moreira, successfully fulfilling the requirement to earn a coveted spot on “The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil.”

Reference: https://www.sherdog.com/news/articles/5-Things-You-Might-Not-Know-About-Paulo-Costa-192616

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