Former UFC middleweight title challenger Paulo Costa has opened up on his viral brawl with a group of fans last Saturday at UFC 294.
Costa was supposed to face Khamzat Chimaev in a No. 1 middleweight contender fight at UFC 294. But, Costa was forced off UFC 294 just days before the event after undergoing surgery on a badly compromised elbow.
While Costa didn’t fight at UFC 294 after all, he was still in attendance at Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Arena to watch the fights front and center. As he entered the arena, he was quickly in a heated altercation with some spectators, which turned from verbal into physical.
Costa claims he got the better of the exchanges in the audience.
Paulo Costa Opens Up On Crowd Brawl At UFC 294
In a recent interview on The MMA Hour, Costa explained what led up to his brawl with multiple fans at the Etihad Arena.
“When I got into the arena…he flipped me off after calling my name, so I marked his face,” Costa said. “I went to the back room to look for him…this guy was so obnoxious. I told him ‘Brother come here, please,” he started to come over, jump the seats onto me, and then I grabbed him…another guy tried to punch me when security pulled me out. I don’t know what he had in mind, I don’t know those guys.”
Costa has ruffled some feathers over the past year with his social media presence. While he’s built a large following across multiple platforms, some of his fighting colleagues have criticized his trolling.
Costa is looking to continue a climb towards a middleweight title shot with his next performance. He defeated Luke Rockhold in his most recent fight at UFC 278 last year.
Costa isn’t afraid of a fight in or out of the cage, and it sounds like he dealt with the ‘winning’ blows while dealing with a group of antagonizing fans.
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