UFC Vegas 41 Fight Breakdown: Marvin Vettori vs. Paulo Costa


MMAOB staff writer Adam Martin takes a deeper look at the main event of UFC Vegas 41, a five-round light heavyweight bout between Paulo Costa and Marvin Vettori. The event takes place on Saturday, October 23 at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Marvin Vettori (-180)

Vettori (17-5-1) is the No. 5 ranked middleweight in the UFC. The 28-year-old Italian has been in the UFC since 2016 and he has gone 7-4 overall in the Octagon since then. Some of his most notable wins have come over Kevin Holland, Jack Hermansson, and Cezar Ferreira, with two notable losses against UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya. Vettori is a strong grappler who is able to control where the majority of his fights take place. On the ground, he is good at staying on top and being in control, but he also mixes in submission attempts and ground and pound. On the feet, Vettori has a fairly high output and he is able to go five hard rounds. Overall, Vettori is a solid middleweight fighter, but perhaps one who is just beneath that elite championship level.

Paulo Costa (+140)

Costa (13-1) is the No. 2 ranked middleweight in the UFC. The 30-year-old Brazilian has been in the UFC since 2017 and since then he has gone 5-1 with notable wins over the likes of Yoel Romero and Uriah Hall with his only defeat coming against the aforementioned Adesanya. A knockout puncher, Costa has looked amazing at times in the UFC and is one of the best middleweights in the promotion, but he did lose to Adesanya just last year and it was a poor showing. Costa says that he was drinking the night before and he was hungover from the wine which is why he performed so poorly, but it remains to be seen if that is actually the case. If he can get back to being the Costa of old, he’s a legitimate title contender, but the fighter who fought Adesanya was anything but.

Fight Breakdown: This should be a solid main event between two of the top-five ranked fighters in the division. It is weird that Costa asked for a higher weight, and if anything I think that shows that his conditioning will just not be where it needs to be here. Early on I expect Costa to be at his most dangerous, and he will have a chance to win the fight by first-round knockout if he is able to catch Vettori in the right spot. However, Vettori has shown no chin issues in his career so far, so I think it will be hard for Costa to put him out early. As the fight goes on, I expect Costa to tire and that’s where Vettori’s grappling will come into play. Although I expect Vettori to struggle with his takedown attempts in the first couple of rounds, eventually I think he will be able to get Costa down to the mat and control him there. In a five-round fight, I favor the fighter who has been going 25 minutes in his last couple of fights. So while I expect the first round or two to be a sweat, ultimately I see Vettori starting to take over this fight and win a decision or get a late stoppage the further the fight goes on.

Prediction: Marvin Vettori

Written by Adam Martin.


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