Paulo Costa’s Manager Speaks Out- Says He Made ‘Tactical Errors’

Published 09/30/2020, 7:46 AM EDT


Paulo Costa made his first title challenge against Israel Adesanya at UFC 253. However, the fight did not go as he would’ve expected it. The Brazilian fighter came up short and surrendered his undefeated streak. 

Leading up to the fight, the animosity between the two men contributed to the storyline. Both fighters took to social media multiple times to troll each other. The excitement leading up to the fight was palpable as this was only the second time in the UFC that two undefeated fighters duked it out for the title. The previous instance came nearly 11 years back when Lyoto Machida and Rashad Evans fought for the light heavyweight belt in 2009. 

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Read:- “It was very weird”- Dana White disappointed with Paulo Costa’s performance

Paulo Costa did not follow game plan says manager Wallid Ismail 

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The fight was a clash between Adesanya’s precision and Costa’s power. ‘Borrachinha‘ had won 12 of his previous 13 fights via TKO/KO. The only exception being a three-round war against Romero

In the fight, Israel Adesanya utilized brutal leg kicks brilliantly to hamper ‘Borrachinha’s mobility. ‘Izzy’ could control the fight throughout, and fans saw no significant offense from Paulo Costa. 

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‘Borrachinha’s manager, Wallid Ismail, explained his shortcomings. He said, “When Adesanya started kicking him in the calf he should’ve changed his strategy. The strategy was to keep (composed) for the first two rounds. And then go all out for the rest of the fight and try to knock him out. He was supposed to have changed his strategy in the third minute of the first round. Or put him down, beat him, do something because he would not have been able to take those many kicks to the calf. He only endured it because he is very thick-skinned. There was a big tactical error.”

Though Costa could not conquer the title in his first attempt, he is only 29 and has a lot of time left in the sport to prove himself. In teammate Henry Cejudo he has someone who has been in the same position as him-losing his first title shot. However, ‘The Messenger’ rallied and won the title on his second attempt. Costa will look to emulate the former UFC ‘champ-champ’. 

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Do you see Costa learning from his harsh experience at UFC 253 and bouncing back stronger than before?

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Kevin Binoy

784 articles

Kevin Binoy is an MMA author at EssentiallySports. He earned a Bachelor's degree from Fergusson College and has been covering sports professionally for over two years. Besides working with the MMA writing team, Kevin is a core member of the organization's web stories team and is responsible for delivering engaging MMA web stories.

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