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UFC 217 results: Paulo Costa has statement win over Johny Hendricks

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

If you didn’t know Paulo Costa before Saturday night, now you know.

The undefeated middleweight hotshot from Belo Horizante, Brazil, scored the biggest victory of his career in his biggest spotlight. Costa had a second-round TKO of former UFC welterweight champion Johny Hendricks in the UFC 217 main card opener at New York’s Madison Square Garden.

The time of the finish was 1:23 as the fighter nicknamed “The Eraser” improved to 11-0, all via finish.

“I come here to show to the world who I am,” Costa said. “In Brazil we have many legends of the sport. But now is a new time and I will be the next legend of the UFC.”

Costa pushed the pace from the outset, peppering Hendricks with brutal kicks to the body. Hendricks, of course, remains plenty tough, and absorbed everything Costa could dish out, even rallying by landing his big left hand a couple times late.

But it was simply a matter of time, as Costa continued to pour on the punishment in the second round until referee John McCarthy waved things off.

“Johny Hendricks is a tough guy, a UFC former champion,” said Costa, who is now 3-0 in the UFC. “He has many experience, it’s not easy fighting a former champion.”

Hendricks (18-8) has now dropped five of his past six fights and is 1-2 since moving up to middleweight.

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