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The drama over the middleweight-turned-light heavyweight Ultimate Fighting Championship headliner came to an end when Paulo Costa hit the scales.
The UFC Fight Night 196 card being held inside the UFC Apex in Las Vegas on Saturday was to have a middleweight main event between Costa (13-1) and Marvin Vettori (17-5-1) in a battle of former title challengers and Israel Adesanya foes. On Wednesday, Costa announced he would not be making weight, and after a tumultuous turn of events on Thursday, the two agreed to a 195-pound catchweight limit before shifting it later that night to 205 pounds. Although this is a significant asterisk, every fighter on the card officially made weight for this show.
Costa suffered the first loss of his career in his last appearance, when he faced Adesanya for the middleweight throne in September 2020. Against the Nigerian-born kickboxer, Costa was chopped down with leg kicks before stopped in the second frame with a barrage of punches and elbows. Before the defeat, Costa racked up 13 wins include five inside the Octagon, while amassing a finish rate of 92% on his way up. A consummate professional, “Borrachinha” came in below his newly established weight class by weighing 204.5 pounds.
Italy's Vettori had no choice but to keep accepting the matchup as it transformed, although he will be receiving 20% of Costa’s purse for the weight change. Vettori too fell short in his last outing to Adesanya, dropping a one-sided unanimous verdict at the end of one of the longest fight cards in company history. The defeat halted a five-fight win streak where he claimed victories over names like Kevin Holland, Jack Hermansson and Andrew Sanchez as he battled through the division. “The Italian Stallion” ended up being the last fighter to take the scales, and he unexpectedly weighed in calmly at 204 pounds.
UFC Fight Night 196 at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas takes place on Saturday, with its entire event airing on ESPN+. The main card commences at 4 p.m. ET/1 p.m. PT, while the three-hour preliminary showcase begins at 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT.
UFC Fight Night 196 Weigh-in Results:Paulo Costa (204.5) vs. Marvin Vettori (204)
Grant Dawson (156) vs. Ricky Glenn (155.5)
Jessica-Rose Clark (135.5) vs. Joselyne Edwards (134.5)
Alex Caceres (146) vs. Seung Woo Choi (145.5)
Francisco Trinaldo (169.5) vs. Dwight Grant (170)
Nicolae Negumereanu (204.5) vs. Isaac Villanueva (205)
Jun Yong Park (185.5) vs. Gregory Rodrigues (185.5)
Mason Jones (156) vs. David Onama (153.5)
Tabatha Ricci (115) vs. Maria de Oliveira Neta (115)
Jamie Pickett (184.5) vs. Laureano Staropoli (185.5)
Khama Worthy (155) vs. Jai Herbert (155)
Jeff Molina (125) vs. Daniel Lacerda (125)
Livinha Souza (115) vs. Randa Markos (115)
Jonathan Martinez (135) vs. Zviad Lazishvili (135)
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