The Brazilian contender is a true knockout artist, using his pressure and power to overwhelm opponents. Costa did just that on his run to a title shot in 2020 and he’s been in nothing but highly entertaining fights.
Take a look at some of “The Eraser’s” best moments thus far, as we count down the days to his fight with Chimaev.
Paulo Costa vs Garreth McLellan
UFC Fight Night: Belfort vs Gastelum – March 11, 2017
At 25 years old, Paulo Costa already looked the part of a middleweight contender.
“The Eraser” had the crowd into the fight before the first punches were thrown, as he was already talking to opponent Garreth McLellan as their names were being announced. His Octagon presence and his showmanship translated from pre-fight to mid-fight as Costa exuded confidence.
Costa stalked McLellan for as long as the bout lasted, landing big power shots and overwhelming McLellan for the TKO win in just 77 seconds. It was a prefect preview of what fight fans could expect from the Brazilian juggernaut.
Paulo Costa vs Johny Hendricks
UFC 217 – November 4, 2017
An important step in Costa’s career was his dominant victory over former welterweight champion Johny Hendricks.
Sure, Hendricks was past his prime by the time he faced Costa, but beating a veteran former champion with a big name was exactly the moment that Costa needed to add to his resume.
Costa pushed the pace on Hendricks in the first round, hurting him with powerful strikes. Early in the second round, Costa started hunting for the finish and landed multiple uppercuts that led Hendricks to go for a desperation takedown, but the referee had seen enough and pushed Costa away before he could land more damage.
It was the perfect performance at the perfect time for Costa and immediately moved him from prospect to contender.
Paulo Costa vs Uriah Hall
UFC 226 – July 7, 2018
Coming into UFC 226, Costa was looking to break into the 185-pound top ten. The UFC lined him up across from Uriah Hall in a striker’s delight.
Hall had success early with his jab, using his speed to get to Costa before the Brazilian’s strikes connected. It was the first real adversity that fight fans saw Costa face. He found some success when he was able to back Hall up to the Octagon fence and land some heavy hooks and knees.
It was very clear that these two were in a real fight heading into the second.
Costa started focusing on the body while he walked Hall down, and there was a brief moment where it seemed that Hall landed a good counter strike that put Costa to his knees, but Costa shook it off. Moments later, Costa started teeing off on Hall as he covered up against the fence. Costa connected with a furious combo that made Hall fall flat on his stomach and put an end to the fight.
Costa passed the test with flying colors.
Paulo Costa vs Yoel Romero
UFC 241 – August 17, 2019
The best way to describe the matchup between Paulo Costa and Yoel Romero is to think about what it would look like for two trains to crash head-on.
That’s what fans were treated to at UFC 241, as both Costa and Romero threw every strike with bad intentions and pushed the pace for all 15 minutes. The fight had it all – big moments, showboating, excitement, and all sorts of wild attacks.
You’ll definitely want to watch this one if you haven’t already.
Paulo Costa vs Luke Rockhold
UFC 278 – August 20, 2022
After a lengthy absence, Paulo Costa returned against Luke Rockhold at UFC 278 in Salt Lake City.
It was a wild, weird, and highly entertaining fight that featured some of the strangest moments you’ll see in the Octagon.
But the result of this fight was Costa decisioning Rockhold and putting it on the former middleweight champion. This fight showed that Costa can have the output to strike for 15 minutes at elevation and that he’s still a force to be reckoned with at middleweight.
UFC 294: Makhachev vs Volkanovski 2 took place live from Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi, UAE on October 21, 2023. See the Final Results, Official Scorecards and Who Won Bonuses - and relive the action on UFC Fight Pass!