The middleweight top contender has been tested by the UFC’s anti-doping agency regularly this year, but that hasn’t stopped him from trolling champion Israel Adesanya about it.
Outside of the actual training and preparation for his upcoming fight with Israel Adesanya, a major focus for Paulo Costa’s fight camp appears to be trying to stay inside the champion’s head. Whether it’s bringing in a tall, skinny sparring partner to chase around the Octagon, or getting the same sparring partner to dye his hair like Adesanya and take on the nickname “Soul Glo,” or most recently keep up the narrative that Costa has gone un-tested by USADA, Costa’s media presence hasn’t shied away from being confrontational.
To that end, Costa’s latest video blog is mostly just focused on a fairly average series of hard training sessions. However, during the filming, USADA stopped by to administer a surprise drug test, which gave ‘Borrachinha’ a chance to do a little more trolling.
“Is USADA coming to Brazil?” Costa joked, speaking to the camera. “It’s the first time USADA comes. I can’t believe it! Just because we said that USADA no longer existed in Brazil, they come knock on our door. I didn’t even know the USADA existed in Brazil. I thought they only tested in the USA. I thought USADA didn’t even exist in Brazil.”
The narrative Costa is spinning is largely in response to comments from Adesanya about how “money talks” in “certain countries.”
“You’ve heard stories about Brazil with people running up to gyms to test people and then they’re not compliant of certain things. I just know what it’s like,” Adesanya explained, adding that he planned to “pop” Costa “before “USADA pops him.”
In fact, the Brazilian title challenger was hit with a doping violation early in his UFC career—surrounding the use of IV infusions to rehydrate after weigh-ins ahead of his bouts with Oluwale Bamgbose and Johny Hendricks. He was suspended 6 months and fined 1⁄3 of his purse for the infractions involving the two fights. In the more than two years since that suspension, Costa has been tested 37 times by the anti-doping agency, including seven times in 2020.
UFC 253 is set to take place on September 27th at the Flash Forum in Abu Dhabi. Alongside the middleweight title fight main event, the card is expected to feature a light heavyweight title fight between Dominick Reyes and Jan Blachowicz. Stay tuned to Bloody Elbow for more news and notes as fight night approaches.