LAS VEGAS -- Although it was a strange week, Saturday's main event, which featured five rounds between Marvin Vettori (and Paulo Costa) delivered exactly what was expected.
Costa (13-2), Vettori's second consecutive loss, was handed to him (18-4-1). This unanimous decision victory came in a matchup between light heavyweights at UFC Fight Night within the Apex. It was scored by all three judges 48 to 46 for Vettori.
The bout was originally set to take place at middleweight. However, it was changed to 205 pound after Costa arrived in Las Vegas heavy.
Costa, aged 30, looked in great shape and seemed motivated. However, Vettori's speed and versatility proved too much for him.
Vettori stated, "Another positive experience." Vettori said, "I know that I have the greatest heart and will. There is no way anyone can catch up when it gets to the fourth and fifth rounds. Many people predicted he would not be ready but it was actually a trick. He was actually quite prepared."
UFC President Dana White stated that Vettori was 208 pounds and Costa 220 for Saturday's fight. He also said that Costa will be fighting at light heavyweight going forward.
Afterward, Costa admitted that there was an issue at camp, and that he couldn't train for a while. He said he had an injury in his left biceps which made him heavier than usual. Wallid Ismail his manager, said that he plans to talk to White and the UFC about keeping him at 185 lbs. Costa stated that he was open to competing at 205 pounds. However, Ismail said that he could still compete and make 185 pounds.
Vettori, coming off a June loss to Israel Adesanya, was pushing the pace right from the first bell. Vettori took control of the cage in the first round, and continued to strike throughout.
Costa of Brazil answered Vettori with some powerful power shots and seemed to be making Vettori feel worse in the second and third rounds. He was able to match Vettori's pace, landing hard right hands and body kicks. Costa appeared to slow down in the middle of fights, but he came back strong in the fifth.
In the second round, Vettori was rocked by a right head kick. Costa looked for a win. Vettori's career has not been over, but he finally got his feet under him. Costa lost a point in the second round for an accidental eye poke.
White thanked Vettori afterwards, saying that he was the reason Saturday's fight continued.
White stated, "We were trying keep this fight alive [this Week], and we couldn’t have done it without Vettori," "Vettori acted like an absolute professional, stud. This guy was amazing to work with during this week. This fight was possible because of him.
It's a huge win for Vettori of Italy, who was on a five-fight winning streak before Adesanya ended it. Vettori said that he would like to fight Adesanya again, although he has already lost twice to Adesanya.
Costa now has two consecutive losses after starting his professional career with 13 victories in succession. This was his 2021 debut.