UFC Fight Night 196 results: Marvin Vettori outlasts Paulo Costa in five-round war

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·4 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Despite the shifts in weight during fight week, Marvin Vettori and Paulo Costa put on an incredible fight for 25 minutes.

The light heavyweight bout was the UFC Fight Night 196 main event at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas. It streamed on ESPN+.

The fight was originally scheduled to take place at middleweight, the bout moved to a catchweight of 195 pounds momentarily, before ultimately settling on 205 pounds just days before the fight took place.

Given their differences in the lead-up to the fight, neither man was interested in touching gloves before the action began.

Costa(13-2 MMA, 5-2 UFC) opened with a few hard kicks to get the action started. Vettori (18-4-1 MMA, 8-3-1 UFC) seemed content to let his opponent strike first early in the first round as he looked for opportunities to counter. With about two minutes remaining in the round, Vettori kept Costa against the fence and unloaded a flurry of strikes. It was a moment that seemed to change the course of the round, as Vettori started finding home for more and more punches as the round went on as Costa slowed his striking output.

Vettori seemed the fresher fighter as the second round started, but Costa continued to offer hard kicks to the body and punches upstairs. Costa landed a hard kick to the head, and somehow Vettori stayed on his feet and avoided damage from a flurry of strikes from Costa who thought a finish was near.

Vettori was able to weather the storm and continue to pressure Costa, leading to a takedown. Nothing significant occurred on the canvas, but right after they returned to the feet, Costa accidentally poked Vettori’s eye, causing a pause in the action. Referee Jason Herzog took a point for the foul.

When the action resumed, Vettori continued to pressure his opponent. The two traded hard strikes in the center of the cage until the round expired.

The third round started with Vettori continuing to dictate the pace of the fight with higher volume striking than Costa. However, the Brazilian continued to throw kicks and punches with fight-ending intention. Costa secured a nice takedown in the center of the cage, but Vettori would end up on top after a failed guillotine attempt, and maintain the position until the round concluded.

The fourth round started off much like the previous rounds as Vettori continued to lead the dance by pressuring and picking well-placed punches. Costa stayed on the outside early, but started to move forward after Vettori scored with a couple of nice combinations. Vettori’s striking looked sharper throughout the round, landing cleaner punches than Costa.

In the first fifth round of his UFC tenure, Costa came out firing, perhaps feeling he needed a finish. He targeted the body of Vettori early with hard kicks and punches, which prompted Vettori to shoot for a takedown to slow the action. Costa was able to keep the fight standing and continued to rip strikes as he looked to land a fight-ending blow. Vettori may have lost the final round, but he was not finished and the fight would go to the scorecards.

The judges were unanimous in their decision as they all saw the fight in favor of Vettori.

Vettori is now back in the win column after an impressive performance on Saturday, rebounding nicely from his title challenge loss to Israel Adesanya in June at UFC 263. Vettori racked up five wins in a row to earn his shot at the title and will likely have to put together a few more wins together to earn a third bout against Adesanya.

Costa has now dropped two in a row, previously losing his title challenge to Israel Adesanya last year at UFC 253. The pair of setbacks are his only professional losses in 15 fights, but the larger concern going forward will surround the weight class he will compete in, given the last-minute changes during this fight week.

Up-to-the-minute UFC Fight Night 196 results include:

  • Marvin Vettori def. Paulo Costa via unanimous decision (48-46, 48-46, 48-46)

  • Grant Dawson vs. Ricky Glenn declared a majority draw (29-28, 28-28, 28-28)

  • Jessica-Rose Clark def. Joselyne Edwards via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)

  • Alex Caceres def. Seungwoo Choi via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 2, 3:31

  • Francisco Trinaldo def. Dwight Grant via split decision (29-27, 27-29, 29-27

  • Nicolae Negumereanu def. Ike Villanueva via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 1:18

  • Gregory Rodrigues def. Junyong Park via knockout (punches) – Round 2, 3:13

  • Mason Jones def. David Onama via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

  • Tabatha Ricci def. Maria Oliveira via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

  • Jamie Pickett def. Laureano Staropoli via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)

  • Jai Herbert def. Khama Worthy via TKO (strikes) – Round 1, 2:47

  • Jeff Molina def. Daniel da Silva via TKO (strikes) – Round 2, 0:46

  • Randa Markos def. Livinha Souza via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)

  • Jonathan Martinez def. Zviad Lazishvili via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)