Vettori defeated Costa in a tremendous battle via unanimous decision in the main event of Saturday’s UFC Vegas 41 fight card at the APEX. In what was originally slated as a middleweight bout became a light heavyweight affair as Costa stated earlier in the week he would not be able to make the 186-pound limit.
Following the loss, Costa attributed the weight class change to suffering a bicep injury — something that Vettori does not believe to be true in any way.
“F*cking hell, can’t you run with a bicep tear to make weight,’ Vettori asked during the event’s post-fight press conference. “What is that? What is that excuse? That doesn’t make any f*cking sense.
“No, [I don’t believe him]. You can do pretty much everything with a bicep tear, anyway. It doesn’t have anything to do with the weight. You could’ve said, ‘I couldn’t throw anything with my right hand because of my bicep tear,’ but not, ‘I couldn’t make weight with a bicep tear.’”
After a 25-minute battle between the two most recent title challengers for current middleweight champion Israel Adesanya, Vettori was asked — despite all of the fight week craziness — if he respected Costa. “The Italian Dream” says not much has changed, but if he saw his rival in the hallway, he might do things differently than he originally thought he might.
“He’s full of sh*t to be honest,” Vettori said. “I don’t like how he carried himself. Nah, I mean, if I see him right now, I probably won’t jump him. But I won’t share a glass of nothing [with him]. F*ck it. You f*cking go your way, I’ll go my way. You f*cking lost, you’re gonna give me 30 percent of your purse, now go run, fat ass.”
With Costa’s inability to make the originally contracted weight, 20 percent of his purse will go to Vettori, which UFC President Dana White also confirmed when speaking with the media after the event.
In the end, Vettori went out in a main event spot and delivered an impressive showing against a larger fighter. That was worth more to him than any kind of penalty Costa could have been given, though he feels he deserved more not just for the unprofessionalism, but with what he had to endure mentally leading into Saturday.
“He’s a cry baby, it should’ve been 50 percent for 20 pounds,” Vettori said. “30, 20 [percent], he’s not making that much money anyway.
“In my mind, I thought this guy wanted out of the fight because he’s not ready. My rational mind was saying, ‘You can’t think that way because it could all be a f*cking trap.’ I can definitely see that he was ready to scratch the fight, because I don’t think a lot of people would have gone up that much weight, but at the same time if I do accept, I’m all in. I can’t expect him to not be ready. So it was weird on my side, too, because I had to stay completely focused, even on him making all this sh*t where he looked like he wasn’t ready.
“I had people all the time telling me, ‘He’s not ready, he wants out of the fight, he doesn’t want to be here.’ You saw the performance, he came game. He wasn’t out of shape.”