Paulo Costa’s manager says former UFC title challenger will return to middleweight

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Paulo Costa’s manager says former UFC title challenger will return to middleweight
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Paulo Costa is not done fighting at middleweight.

According to the former title challenger’s manager, Wallid Ismail, the Brazilian fighter is not making a permanent change in weight class, despite fighting at 205 pounds in his last outing.

At UFC Fight Night 196, Costa faced fellow former title challenger Marvin Vettori in what was originally scheduled to be a main event clash in the middleweight division. However, just days before the fight, Costa requested multiple changes in weight class, eventually resulting in the fight taking place at light heavyweight.

“They knew that ‘Borrachinha’ was injured, and that’s why he had problems with his weight,” Ismail recently told Sherdog. “There is no doubt his next fight will take place in the middleweight division.”

Costa, himself, spoke about an injury to his bicep that occurred during training camp for Vettori, which he claimed led to his inability to properly cut weight for the fight.

“I had some problems to not come in here with my usual weight,” Costa said during the UFC Fight Night 196 post-fight news conference. “I came at a little bit higher weight because I needed to stop some weeks of training.”

Ismail said his client is awaiting a call from the UFC to determine when his next fight will take place as he does not currently have a fight on the horizon.

“We will fight whoever the UFC decides. I keep believing that ‘Borrachinha’ will be the champion,” Ismail said. “He just has to train right. His biggest problem is that he trains too much. If he trains correctly, I have no doubt no one in that division can beat him.”

Costa, who is currently No. 7 in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMA Junkie middleweight rankings, is on a two-fight skid after losses to the middleweight champion Israel Adesanya and Vettori. Prior to his defeats, Costa was undefeated with five straight wins that included four finishes.

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