Natalia Silva predicts her teammate Paulo Costa will achieve a knockout victory in his upcoming UFC 298 fight against Robert Whittaker, marking Costa’s first knockout win since 2018.
Natalia Silva’s got high hopes for her teammate, Paulo Costa. She’s betting on him to make a big comeback against Robert Whittaker. Costa, also known as “Borrachinha,” is set to face the ex-champ on Feb. 17. This is the co-main event of UFC 298 in Anaheim, Calif. Silva’s prediction? Costa’s gonna score his first knockout since his 2018 beatdown of Uriah Hall.
Silva’s got her own fight to focus on, though. She’s up against fellow Brazilian flyweight Viviane Araujo this Saturday at UFC Vegas 85. But she’s still excited for Costa’s return. The guy’s had his fair share of fight cancellations, after all.
Since his 2020 challenge against Israel Adesanya for the middleweight title in Abu Dhabi, Costa’s only fought twice in the UFC. He lost to Marvin Vettori in a catchweight contest. But then he bounced back with a decision win over Luke Rockhold. That was more than 17 months ago, mind you.
Silva’s not the only one eager to see Costa back in action. “Everybody is anxious to see him back,” she said. “Paulo is a very strong athlete and always puts on good fights, so we’re always expecting the best. I’m rooting for him, and looking forward to seeing him back. Unfortunately, he suffered an injury last time and couldn’t fight.”
Silva said that Costa was super pumped for that fight. So, having to withdraw was a tough pill to swallow. “He really wanted that fight. In fact, he was still willing to fight [despite the injury], but now he’s 100 percent again. I believe it’s going to be an incredible fight.”
Silva’s got her own fight to focus on, though. She’s going for her fifth octagon victory when she meets Araujo on Saturday. Silva’s been on a roll, with four straight wins over a span of 14 months. She’s defeated Tereza Bleda and Victoria Leonardo, and won over Andrea Lee in her most recent appearance.
For Silva, this fight is another step towards her goal of becoming champion. “Viviane is a super tough athlete and I’m happy to be able to do this fight. I’ve trained so hard because I know it’s going to be a tough fight. This victory gets me closer to my goal, so it’s another step for me. I know it’s going to be a tough fight, but I’m prepared for it.”
Silva’s not making any predictions about how she’ll win. She’s not taking anything for granted against an opponent like Araujo, who’s lost three of her past five UFC bouts.
“When we go to a fight, everything we’ve done stays in the past,” Silva said. “All your wins, all your losses. We’re 0-0 in there, it’s a new game. I’ve trained and gave my all to win. If she’s under pressure or not, I’m not thinking about that. I’m going there to fight, to show the same Natalia Silva that fights with all her heart for the victory.”