The highly anticipated Paulo Costa vs Marvin Vettori bout goes down at UFC Fight Night on Saturday.
The middleweight contenders are hoping to get another chance at facing Israel Adesanya, so there is plenty on the line at UFC Apex.
MMA odds are available for the main event, where Vettori is the -150 favorite. However, Costa is a beast and can cause a minor upset after over a year away from the Octagon.
Vettori Doesn’t Need a Reason
There hasn’t been much pre-fight talk between Vettori and Costa. Most of the talking has been done by Adesanya, and hilariously so. However, Vettori has made his intentions clear in a recent interview.
The 17-5-1 fighter comes off a loss to Adesanya by unanimous decision, but many believe he is one of the top middleweights. Despite losing three fights since arriving in the UFC, Vettori has beaten the likes of Kevin Holland and Jack Hermansson.
Marvin Vettori believes Israel Adesanya was “smarter,” but not better in their rematch at UFC 263 🧠
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) October 18, 2021
Vettori doesn’t necessarily enjoy the company of Costa, who is a notoriously tough person to get along with.
“I don’t like the guy necessarily. He’s not a guy that I would get along with as a friend. He talked a bunch of (garbage) before, here and there. But personally, I don’t know him. He never did anything to me too much that is personal,” Vettori told MMA Junkie.
“With that being said, I don’t need anything personal to beat somebody unconscious. I don’t need anything personal, especially to (deal with) the problem in the cage.”
The sportsbook has Vettori at -150 to beat Costa. He is typically well-favored with bookmakers, so it’s not surprising. Adesanya has failed to knock him out on two occasions, so he has lasted against the best.
He’s an aggressive Italian, who could fall in the overrated category, but he is a submission threat, so he must be respected.
Does Costa Turn Up?
It’s fair to say Costa didn’t turn up against Adesanya. He never looked comfortable and appeared scared to close the gap.
There is a case that “The Eraser” Costa is too bulky, and he puts too much time into lifting weights than working on his craft. However, prior to his first UFC loss, he looked indestructible.
The 30-year-old defeated Yoel Romero in 2019, which followed brutal knockouts of Uriah Hall and Johny Hendricks.
Adesanya added fuel to the fire when reminding fight fans about his belief of Costa being on steroids. The Brazilian certainly fits the mould, akin to Alistair Overeem, but he has earned his stripes in the UFC.
— MMAFighting.com (@MMAFighting) October 18, 2021
“They’ve both been popped, we need that to be known. These people forget so I need to remind people that, yeah, they’re both juicy boys,” Adesanya quipped. “Costa’s path to victory in this fight? Get him out early.”
We also think Costa will need to end the fight early, and despite bookmakers setting the line at 4½ rounds, our UFC best bets have the fight ending in the first four rounds.
The Eraser could get back to his best, despite the long layout, and knock out Vettori. He’s fighting a guy with a 7-3-1 record in the UFC, so he has faced more seasoned opponents. However, Vettori has a chin made of cement, so it’ll take a big blow.
Costa vs Vettori Pick
We’re going with Costa to land the knockout on Vettori and book a rematch with Adesanya.
He was embarrassed when last in the Octagon, so he’ll be wanting to make amends for the timid fight plan.
Costa should come out swinging, and although Vettori could play it smart and keep his distance, he’s not a fighter that often sticks to a game plan.
We couldn’t back Vettori at his current odds, so Costa at +120 is right up our alley. We also like under 4½ rounds at -115.