Can Paulo Costa Win UFC Bout After Missing Weight This Badly?

  • Paulo Costa and Marvin Vettori were originally set to fight at 185 lbs on Saturday.
  • The two will instead fight at 205 lbs after Costa was unable to make weight.
  • Costa has moved from +105 odds to win to +150 odds to win.

LAS VEGAS - Paulo Costa and Marvin Vettori’s formerly middleweight bout on Saturday’s UFC Fight Night has been moved to a 205 lb weight limit.

This movement comes after Costa was seemingly unable to make 185, the middleweight limit, and also apparently unable to make 195, the original catchweight agreed upon by the two fighters.

The odds for the fight opened with Vettori favored with -125 odds, and Costa sitting with +105 odds as an underdog.

As it has become clearer and clearer that something might legitimately be wrong with Costa based on his inability to make weight, the MMA betting markets have shifted further and further in favor of Vettori.

Marvin Vettori Vs. Paulo Costa Odds

  • Marvin Vettori -185
  • Paulo Costa +150

It is traditionally believed among online gamblers and MMA fans that fighters that do not make weight tend to have trouble fighting because their inability to make weight always comes with a brutal final cut in their attempt to do so.

However, it’s worth noting that it seems as though Costa will not have to do this at all, given that the weight limit for the fight has moved up 20 lbs.

Costa claimed to be around 211 pounds earlier in the week, so he only had to cut 6.5 pounds to his weigh-in weight of 204.5, which could reduce one of the major factors that cause fighters that miss weight to lose.

UFC Fighters Missing Weight Analysis

However, UFC history does not bear this theory out. First of all, fighters that have missed weight actually have a 54.8% winning percentage in the fight, so the premise that they tend to lose is questionable in the aggregate.

But, when broken down further, per MMAFighting, some interesting trends tend to emerge, such as the fact that fighters who missed weight by six pounds have never won a fight in the modern UFC.

In addition, underdogs who missed weight went 12-23, and while Costa was a mild underdog entering the fight, he’s a much larger one now.

As to the causes of these effects, one can only speculate. Perhaps missing weight is indicative of poor training, or not caring. Perhaps it indicates a fighter that should be up a weight class or two cutting down beyond human capability in order to maximize their body.

There is something to be said for this bout not being a traditional miss-weight-and-agree-to-catchweight fight, in that Costa will not be forced to do the devastating attempt to cut 20+ pounds to make the fight happen, but for Costa to pull all the shenanigans he’s pulled this week and then win would be more or less unprecedented.

The main event begins at 6:30 p.m. EST on Saturday and can be viewed on ESPN+.