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UFC Vegas 41 live blog: Paulo Costa vs. Marvin Vettori

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UFC Fight Night: Costa v Vettori weigh-in Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

This is the UFC Vegas 41 live blog for Paulo Costa vs. Marvin Vettori, the light heavyweight headliner for Saturday’s fight card at the UFC APEX in Las Vegas.

The main event features Costa, the No. 4 ranked middleweight in the MMA Fighting Global Rankings, against No. 6 ranked Marvin Vettori. The fight was originally scheduled to take place at middleweight, but Costa was unable to cut to the 186-pound limit for a non-title middleweight bout. The UFC subsequently rebooked it at 195 pounds, but then moved it to light heavyweight when Costa was unable to make the catchweight.

Both of the middleweights compete for the first time since failed bids for the middleweight title currently held by champ Israel Adesanya. Costa lost via second-round TKO at UFC 253, while Vettori was outpointed at UFC 263 in his second loss to Adesanya.

Check out the UFC Vegas 41 live blog.

Round 1: As expected, Marvin Vettori looking intense on his way to the octagon. A lot of pent up frustration, no doubt, for Vettori with everything that has happened this week. Paulo Costa, the big heel of the fight week, looks like he’s ready to run through a wall as he sprints to the cage. This is going to be fun, ladies and gentlemen. Costa walks right towards Vettori and security separates them.

After a tense face-off, Jason Herzog gets this grudge match underway. Costa marches forward and lands a heavy leg kick. Another hard leg kick from Costa, then up top. Body kick from Costa lands, but it took Costa backwards and down. Vettori swarmed with big shots. Back to the body with a kick from Costa, Vettori clinches up and they separate. Vettori with a right land gets Costa’s attention. Costa with two more body kicks and a right hand, Vettori answers with one of his own, and Costa fires one right back. Sharp left cross from Vettori and Costa looks to be slowing down a little bit. Vettori with a fast combination and a high kick. Costa definitely breathing heavy with his mouth open and Vettori drills him with a jab. Vettori landing a flurry against the fence and Costa calls for more. Vettori happy to oblige as he stalks Costa down with a hard jab. Vettori with a combination and a kick to the body. Big left hand from Vettori and a heavy elbow. Costa with a right hand to the body and Vettori answers with a combination. Huge momentum shift in this round with Vettori landing a hard jab before the horn.

MMAFighting scores the round 10-9 for Vettori

Round 2: Costa breathing heavy on the stool. Vettori ready to go, don’t even know if he sat in the corner. Vettori almost doubling up Costa on the total strikes in the first. Costa lands a right cross and Vettori answers. Costa lands a big head kick and Costa attacking like it may be his last chance. Vettori with great head movement and lands a big knee. Costa throws a labored right hand, Vettori pushing forward and eats an inside leg kick. Costa throws a hard front kick, Vettori answers with a combination. Costa digs to the body and Vettori is backing up now. Costa with a body kick. Vettori with an easy takedown and has Costa’s back. Back to the feet they go and Costa with a deep eye poke. Herzog stops the action as that was clearly a poke upon replay. Herzog warns Costa and the doctor comes in to check on Vettori. Herzog is now taking a point due to multiple warnings about grabbing the gloves apparently.

Action resumes and Costa throwing big head kicks, blocked by Vettori. Right hand and left cross from Vettori. Knee to the body, punch to the body, elbows, and a further flurry up top for Vettori. Big left hand from Vettori. Costa still throwing and lands a body shot before the horn.

MMAFighting scores the round 9-9, 19-18 total for Vettori

Round 3: Costa really breathing heavy in the corner, Vettori ready to take on a mack truck between rounds. Vettori moving forward and not giving Costa any room to breathe. Jab from Vettori and Costa just misses a spinning kick to the head. Big left hand from Vettori nails Costa between the eyes. Vettori marching Costa down, who is swinging for the fences. Vettori clinches against the fence and lands an elbow upon separation. Body shot from Costa, combination right back from Vettori. Big shots from Vettori with Costa against the fence. Knee from Vettori ends with a takedown from Costa. Ground and pound from Costa and he looks for a D’arce choke. Vettori slides out and ends up on top. Left elbow grazes the head of Costa. Final 20 seconds and Vettori remains on top, just smothering Costa until the horn sounds.

MMAFighting scores the round 10-9, 29-27 total for Vettori

Round 4: Beneil Dariush giving advice to a still-standing Marvin Vettori to not stand in front of Costa. Vettori lands a hard shot early, Costa goes hard with another kick to the body. Nice left hand from Vettori and he is pressuring Costa against the fence. Left hook from Costa, Vettori answers with a jab. Clean combination from Vettori, Costa acting like it didn’t do any damage, but it certainly did. Jab from Vettori lands on the money. Costa misses with a high kick, Vettori starts unloading against the fence and lands hard to the body of Costa. High kick from Costa blocked, right hook is not. Vettori turning up the volume. Costa now moving forward but eats another Vettori combination. Leg kick from Costa, not much on it. Vettori backing Costa down and lands a left cross. Nice knee to the body from Vettori, may have been low but the action continues. Left hand from Vettori drills Costa, who answers with one of his own. Vettori shooting for a takedown, Costa defends. Another land to the body from Costa, Vettori answers as the round ends.

MMAFighting scores it 10-9, 39-36 overall for Vettori

Round 5: Costa’s corner saying, at worst, it’s tied. Not sure if that’s sound advice. Big right from Costa and Vettori continues to march him down. Costa throwing everything he has into every strike, Vettori lands some volume strikes before a vicious body kick lands from Costa. Digging to the body is Costa and it is effective. Vettori clinches up wisely and looks for a takedown. Big right hand over the top from Costa and a knee to the body. Halfway through the round and Costa rips to the body again. Vettori shoots a single, defended by Costa, and gets separation. Another kick to the body from Costa, Vettori answers as he looks to slow down a bit as well late in this one. Right hand from Vettori and maybe the 30th hard body kick from Costa lands. Last minute of a tremendous battle. Left hand from Costa lands hard, Vettori lands one of his own. Leg kick from Costa and Vettori clinches up in the final 15 seconds. The bout ends against the fence and Vettori should get the win.

MMAFighting scores the round 10-9 for Costa, and the fight 48-46 for Vettori

OFFICIAL RESULT: Marvin Vettori def. Paulo Costa via unanimous decision (48-46, 48-46, 48-46)