Israel Adesanya via UFC - Ultimate Fighting Championship YouTube

Following his unanimous decision victory over Jared Cannonier at UFC 276, Middleweight Champion Israel Adesanya took to Twitter to bash former foe, Paulo Costa.

Israel Adesanya and Joe Rogan via UFC YouTube

Number 5-ranked Middlweight challenger Paulo Costa may have had a few too many glasses of wine before taking to Twitter to criticize referee Jason Herzog. It was a bizarre moment, but those are becoming more and more common for Costa.

Costa’s tweet came following the anticlimactic ending of the Sean O’Malley-Pedro Munhoz pay-per-view opener. In the second round, O’Malley unintentionally poked Munhoz in the eye. Munhoz told the cageside doctor that he couldn’t see and the fight was waved off shortly after. The bout was declared a no-contest.

Costa didn’t wait long before going after Herzog.

He tweeted, “Jason Herzog this guy is bad intentioned. I repudiate this kind of fake professional. he took 1 point from me in the very first unintentional eye poke. and guess what, fate is cruel. the eye poke much more serious that pedro received he didn’t get a point. you son of a b***h.

Costa appears to have a personal vendetta against Herzog dating back to his last fight with No. 3 ranked Marvin Vettori, in which Herzog was the referee. In that fight, Herzog took a point from Costa following an accidental eye poke. Costa went on to lose in a unanimous decision.

Costa’s beef seems to be that Herzog did not also take a point from O’Malley when he poked Munhoz in the eye. However, his critique doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. The O’Malley-Munhoz fight was stopped immediately after the eye poke. Herzog had no opportunity to take a point because the fight never restarted. It seems like Costa wanted a reason to take a dig at Herzog, and didn’t think through his tweet before sending it.

Later in the night, Adesanya took the opportunity to remind Costa of their 2020 title fight, which Herzog also refereed. In that bout, Adesanya won by KO in the second round of an extremely one-sided affair.
Adesanya tweeted, “I know right… He stopped me only after 2 pumps!!”

The “two pumps” is a reference to Adesanya’s rather vulgar post-KO celebration (linked here for your viewing pleasure).

Paulo Costa via via UFC – Ultimate Fighting Championship YouTube

Since the loss to Adesanya, Costa’s career has been on a bit of a decline. Immediately following that fight, Costa proclaimed that the reason he lost was because he’d drank too much wine the night before. He also had serious issues making weight for the Vettori fight, which forced the bout to be moved to light heavyweight. On top of that, he pulled out of fights with Cannonier and former champ Robert Whittaker, and has publicly asserted that he deserves more money.

Costa’s next opportunity to get back on track will come against former champ Luke Rockhold at UFC 278 in August. He’ll probably need to string together a few wins to get back in the title conversation. Until then, his only chance at a bout with Adesanya is via the internet.

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