Paulo Costa was fined by two athletic commissions and issued a retroactive six-month suspension by USADA for a prohibited IV use prior to two UFC wins, and also had to deal with other issues outside the Octagon.
Costa admitted to receiving an IV of permitted substances, including saline solution and stomach medication called Plasil, prior to his wins over Oluwale Bamgbose and Johny Hendricks. A video of “Borrachinha” administering the IV in a hotel room had surfaced online months before, and Costa now says that an ex-trainer was the “snitch” responsible for the footage.
“He was already identified and removed from the team,” Costa told Ag. Fight. “This person tried to send it to several people. It’s a tragicomic situation. He hurt himself a lot because he was cut from the team. He was part of the team and betrayed not only my confidence, but every fighter’s (confidence), I believe. I don’t know if a trainer can have the confidence of a fighter or a gym owner now because if he does that to one fighter, he’ll do to another. This guy has to be banned from the sport.”
Costa did not reveal the name of the trainer.
“He tried to use that short moment to hurt me and extort me with that video,” he added. “He said, ‘If you don’t give me this amount of money…’ That completely broke the confidence and I obviously didn’t even try to negotiate because I knew what I was doing.”
The undefeated middleweight, who is slated to return to the eight-sided cage against Yoel Romero at UFC 241 on Aug. 17, says he made the mistake of trusting the trainer at the time, having him in his hotel room prior to the fights.
“I had this trainer in the UFC for one fight before, and he did that in the second one,” Costa said. “I believe he thought, ‘He’s in the UFC, making a lot of money, I’ll extort him.’ I had worked with him four or five years before (joining) the UFC, but there was no extortion because I wasn’t making money [laughs].”
Costa hasn’t fought since July 2018, when he stopped Uriah Hall in the second round at UFC 226. Since then, a middleweight clash with Romero has been in the works multiple times but never came to fruition. Unbeaten in 12 professional fights, Costa is 4-0 in the UFC with four stoppage victories.