Hats off to Marvin Vettori (18-4-1 MMA, 8-3-1 UFC), who defeated Paulo Costa in the main event of the UFC Fight Night 196, earning the respect of all the MMA community.
The Italian Dream was better than the Brazilian via unanimous decision, with all three judges scoring in his favor, 48-46.
“Good work and another improving experience for me,” said the winner, adding a few nasty words about his rival, who ended up beaten, despite changing the weight limit twice before the match.
The fight was initially planned to be at 185 pounds, but after Costa (13-2 MMA, 5-2 UFC) saw that he might miss the weight, he asked to increase it to 195. After that, he once again asked for another change to 205 pounts. On both occasions, Vettori accepted the requests.
Marvin Vettori (190) and Paulo Costa (163) combined for 353 significant strikes landed, the 4th largest count in UFC history and the largest count ever not featuring Max Holloway, per UFC Stats. pic.twitter.com/41iyC39KcY
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) October 23, 2021
The UFC fined Costa with 20% of his purse, which will end up on his rival’s account.
The Italian, visibly lighter and smaller than his rival, endured and ate all of Costa’s punches without showing the least signs of struggle. On the other side, he created the advantage in the scoring cards with relentless jabs and strikes that eventually busted Costa’s left cheek.
Now, Borrachina was acting tired early on, showing signs of fatigue already in the second round, but it. It seemed that it was his plan all along, which was mentioned by Vettori after the match. We saw him going out in the fifth round pretty hard, and in those moments, Vettori was a bit stunned, but managed to get out of the tough situation. He absorbed a few very nasty hits in both the head and especially the body, staying on his feet and continuing to go forward.
We are more than sure that some of the fighters would most definitely find themselves on the ground after those strikes and punches, but not the Italian. Though, he admitted that his rival has one hell of a power.
Vettori is tough. pic.twitter.com/iq2FoobjoL
— MS (@UFC_Obsessed) October 23, 2021
Vettori’s tactics were simple. He would go forward and use his boxing skills to slow down Costa. His feints and head movement would confuse the opponent, and even though exposing his left side of the body, compensate all that with hard directs and jabs. We saw him pressuring the Costa to the fence on a couple of occasions, but without enough power and endurance to finish the fight.
Costa had one takedown in the third, and it seemed that he might create trouble for Vettori, who miraculously got away from a tough position, flipping the situation and finishing the round on top of the rival.
We need to mention that the bout was briefly stopped in the second round due to an accidental eye poke Costa inflicted on Vettori, which was why the judges deducted one point from the Brazilian.
After the match, Vettori said that he didn’t give up on plans to win the belt and wants to continue improving. About the next fight, the Italian Dream only stated that he wants to clash with the best.
“I want to fight with the best, and the belt will come.”
Who will be Vettori’s next opponent? We don’t quite know, and at the moment, the UFC awaits to see what happens in the rematch between Adesanya and Whittaker.
Meanwhile, there are some rumors that the organization might ban Costa from competing in the middleweight division, but that is yet to be seen.
Nikola Velickovic is a sports journalist who loves to write and read on all sports. Nikola contributes both news updates and functions as a sports breaking news writer at WagerBop.