In the main event of UFC 236, Dustin Poirier will take on Max Holloway for the interim lightweight championship. Flash back several years, and a young Holloway was making his Ultimate Fighting Championship debut at just 4-0. Very few fighters get inside the Octagon with just four professional fights, but Randy Costa will enter that elite company when he takes on Brandon Davis in the card’s opening bout.
For Costa, who had his first pro fight in June of 2018, it’s surreal to be in the UFC this early. “We got told that at 5-0, I would pretty much have a spot in the UFC for a short-notice replacement,” Costa said to Sherdog.com. “My name has been tossed in the mix [as a] last-minute replacement, but it never came to fruition. Not because of me, but because of the other [fighter]. We knew it was only a matter of time, and then Sean Shelby texts my coach and asks if I was 5-0 yet. Obviously, I am only 4-0, so Sean said that is fine and said, ‘We’ll get Randy at the end of June at the latest.’ I’m thinking Contender Series, so I would have fought April 6 and picked up another win. Two days later, Joe Lauzon, my coach texted me [a bunch of stuff about] Brandon Davis making his bantamweight debut at UFC 236. I was like, ‘Cool, but why are you texting me this? I don’t care.’ He goes, ‘No, they are offering it to you.’ I was like holy f—, this is crazy. It just came, and it was madness.”
Costa’s penchant for finishing played a significant role in getting him his UFC opportunity. The Lauzon MMA product has four wins by knockout, with all of them ending in under a minute. Costa knows he’s not being paid by the round and looks to end the fight quickly.
“I don’t have a lot of experience in the cage,” said Costa. “I have an exciting style, and I feel like I have a personality. The UFC is a business, so a fighter has to have a full package of knowing how to talk, presenting themselves and being an exciting fighter. I believe I have all that. Look at which fighters have gotten into the UFC at 4-0. It is a small list, but they are top guys. What is pretty cool is one of them is headlining the card in Max Holloway. Look at where he is. Chris Weidman was 4-0, and he was a champ. It’s cool to be in that category. UFC is looking at me as a prospect and a fighter who has a chance to be a champion. They think highly of me and I’m not going to let them regret that. I am going to come out on April 13 and it is going to be fireworks.”
Costa knows that both he and his opponent will move forward and bite down on their mouthpieces. With that, Costa is thinking this fight may very well be receiving a bonus at the end of the night.
“I was a fan of Brandon Davis, so it is cool to fight someone that I like watching fight,” Costa explained. “He is a savage. That guy knows how to fight, he’s fan friendly. I really like his style. Our styles match up well. We are both exciting fighters. We are not going to go out there and lay and pray or cuddle for 15 minutes. We are going to go out there and fight. We have a realistic shot to get [the] Fight of the Night bonus. We are both exciting fighters. The fans can expect a lot of this fight.
“He has a great chin. I also have power behind my shots especially for a little guy,” he added. “I see nothing but fireworks for however long the fight is. This fight is going to be exciting and I am going to come here and make a big splash and people are going to know who I am after this, I guarantee that. He is a game opponent, he’s a very talented fighter.”