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UFC 278: Does Paulo Costa hiring girlfriend as manager affect his performance?

Vitor Miranda, a UFC analyst, questions how much his performance on Saturday night will be impacted by the choices he makes outside of the ring.

The co-main event of UFC 278 will feature Paulo Costa taking on former UFC and Strikeforce champion Luke Rockhold. Vitor Miranda, a UFC analyst, questions how much his performance on Saturday night will be impacted by the choices he makes outside of the ring. Find out on August 20 in Salt Lake City.

The past few months have seen Costa post memes about UFC President Dana White and talk about the pay of fighters on social media. Prior to UFC 278 he also changed managers. From his longtime manager Wallid Ismail to his girlfriend Tamara Alves who, in his words, “has good relationship” with the UFC.

Also Read: UFC 278: Prediction, Odds, Fight Card, Preview, and Live Streaming Details

Vitor Miranda’s Opinion on UFC 278

“I think that affects a lot, negatively speaking,” Miranda said on this week’s episode of podcast Trocação Franca. “In my fighting experience, I would deal as little as possible with that in such delicate moments. I would focus 100 percent [on the fight], wouldn’t want to know how much I’m making until I win my fight and then, when I’m calm, I’d think about it.”

Miranda said “anything can happen, the sport is evolving, but it’s difficult because this is a hard fight to win.” He said that in reference to Costa’s decision to have his girlfriend serve as his manager. He did that in order to negotiate better pay with Dana White and the UFC matchmakers.

“‘Borrachinha’ is a monster, a guy that brings in the public either to root for him or against him, which is the premise of the guy that has this type of personality,” Miranda said. “In theory, he’s bringing money to the UFC, but how many of those guys the UFC has that maybe don’t bother them that much in negotiations and things like that? Anyway, it’s complicated.

“It’s not a fair fight, even. Could fighters get paid better? They could. Does the UFC make an absurd amount of money that could be split better? Yes. But, man, it’s complicated, right? Our role as an athlete is to try to perform the best way possible to negotiate that naturally without having to force anything or start a war.”

Also Read: UFC 278: Michael Bisping Predicts Leon Edwards set to defeat Kamaru Usman says “It’s a tough fight for both men”

A Rough Patch for Costa

When Costa enters the cage to face Rockhold, Miranda might be affected by these deterrents. Costa, who severely missed weight for his most recent fight, hopes to recover from losses to Israel Adesanya and Marvin Vettori. Since defeating Yoel Romero by decision in three rounds in August 2019, he has not triumphed in a fight.

“I think all that affects the fighter and his performance,” Miranda said. “Maybe ‘Borrachinha’ is bulletproof mentally speaking, which I don’t think he is. We saw that in his performance against Adesanya, the many issues he’s had, couldn’t sleep and all that, and that drained him in a way he couldn’t perform in the fight. And switching managers, fighting for more money and contract. … Man, that drains the athlete and can affect [him] during the fight.”

When Costa competed as a middleweight on The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil 3, Miranda advanced to the heavyweight championship match. Miranda won three straight fights after switching to middleweight between 2014 and 2016. But he announced his retirement in 2018 after losing by decision to Chris Camozzi, Marvin Vettori, and Abu Azaitar. Miranda, who works as a UFC analyst in Brazil and analyzes fights on YouTube. He explains why he disagrees with the odds and chooses Rockhold as the favorite.

Also Read: “You scared me.” – Dana White spooked by Paulo Costa, Luke Rockhold stare-down ahead of UFC 278

Luke Rockhold

“The thing is Rockhold hasn’t been active in a while, and that makes a difference in a high-level fight,” Miranda said. “But, if [Rockhold] wakes up that day and everything happens the right way, he performs well and executes in the fight what he’s trained, he wins. I don’t know how he is today, but, if he’s well-trained, he’s a very dangerous guy. He’s very technical both on the feet and on the ground. He’s a southpaw, and that alone complicates things for his opponents. And his game isn’t favorable for ‘Borrachinha’.

“‘Borrachinha’ does well against guys that fight in a mid to close range. Yoel Romero was one of the greatest fights because Romero doesn’t land or throw that much and accepts that type of fight. Rockhold won’t accept that. In theory, he’ll use his movement well and keep the distance so he can throw left hands and jabs from a long distance. He has strong kicks to the body that hurt you, and then he goes up for head kicks. I think it’s a complicated fight for ‘Borrachinha.’

“Sure, anyone can land a good one and the other goes down, and ‘Borrachinha’ has better chances in doing that than Rockhold. But I think Rockhold is very smart. If he doesn’t get scared, because ‘Borrachinha’ is scary. Most of the fights he’s won, he won by backing up his opponent against the fence. In theory, Rockhold won’t accept that type of game, so I think I would favor Rockhold against ‘Borrachinha.’”

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Have a good day ahead 🙂

Nischal Bahuguna
Nischal Bahuguna
Nischal is a martial arts practitioner and loves the technical aspect of martial arts. Here at The Sports Lite he technically reviews UFC fights. He is pursuing a career in marketing and enjoys exploring off-road trails, going on weekend hikes, and having new experiences.


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