Paulo Costa Responds to Robert Whittaker Defeat at UFC 298: Damage or Touching?

UFC middleweight Paulo Costa expressed confusion over the scoring of his fight against Robert Whittaker at UFC 298, where he lost by unanimous decision, but vowed to change his approach for his next fight.

UFC middleweight Paulo Costa is puzzled. He’s joined the ranks of fighters scratching their heads over MMA scoring, post-UFC 298.

He took to his X account after the fight. He’d just lost to ex-champ Robert Whittaker, a unanimous decision at the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif. His promise? A new strategy for the next bout.

“Hey mtfks, you’re amazing,” he posted on X. He thanked his supporters, saying, “During the fight, I felt like I was winning. I was pressuring him back, hurting his face. But the judge saw it differently.”

He’s not down for the count, though. “I’m back, no injuries. Next time, I’ll apply even more pressure until the finish. Love you all.”

He even shared a clip. It was shot by a fan, capturing his most emphatic move in the fight. A wheel kick that left Whittaker reeling at the end of the first round. This move likely swayed two of the three judges, though one gave Whittaker a clean sweep, 30-27. UFC stats reveal Whittaker outlanded Costa in significant strikes, 95 to 67.

Later, Costa shared a comparison shot. His face next to Whittaker’s post-fight. “Damage or touching?” he asked, captioning the photo. “Congrats Rob, it was a great fight. Enjoy.”

Surprisingly, the middleweight co-main event of UFC 298 didn’t get a “Fight of the Night” bonus. However, UFC CEO Dana White assured that Whittaker and Costa would receive some form of extra reward.

White commended Costa’s performance and resilience during the fight. The UFC exec’s praise is notable, given Costa’s past. He’s withdrawn from announced fights and even showed up grossly overweight for a fight with Marvin Vettori.

“I thought they both looked good,” White said. “Costa…so big, so durable. That front leg, it was almost disfigured, it was so nasty. He stayed in there, kept swinging, kept getting kicked in the leg. …”

“We’ve had some weird history with Costa. But when you look at the [Luke] Rockhold fight, and then you look at the fight tonight, Costa comes to fight. When you can get him in there, he comes to fight.”


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