Paulo Costa is in Melbourne, Australia, and it’s very much a business trip.
The middleweight, fresh off his win over Yoel Romero, has travelled Down Under to stake his claim as the rightful contender to whomever wins the middleweight title fight between Israel Adesanya and Robert Whittaker this weekend.
His attendance, he says, is all that needs to done. His reputation will take it from there.
“I don’t need to do anything to scare these guys, just to be here,” Costa said. “They know I have a great challenge for them, for either of them. They need to fight against me. Probably it will be the next one. Whoever wins will need to fight against the new face of this division, the guy who made Romero go backwards for two or three rounds.
“I’m here to send my message.”
While Costa versus either man will be a fun and interesting occasion, it’s fair to say that Adesanya has been the one to make things a bit more personal with the Brazilian by his constant referring to him as “Juice Monkey.”
Costa maintains that, while the remarks are irritating, he won’t rise to them.
“Talking about juice is the only thing that guys can do against me,” Costa said. “But I never failed any one of those tests. Let them say anything about me. I don’t care. Just go to the octagon.”
And as for this weekend?
“I think Robert will win,” Costa said. “I can fight against Robert, also. He did a great two wars against Romero. For a lot of people, he lost. I proved I’m a tough guy, and I can beat everybody here in this division.”