Paulo Costa calls for longshot middleweight bout with ‘Exceptional’ Conor McGregor: “He’s huge”

By Josh Evanoff - January 10, 2024

UFC middleweight contender Paulo Costa believes that he will fight Conor McGregor one day, possibly as early as this year.

Paulo Costa, Conor McGregor

‘The Notorious’ is currently on the comeback trail. Having not competed in over two years, Conor McGregor recently announced plans to return on June 29th at International Fight Week. For his first fight back, the Irishman wants to face Michael Chandler at 185 pounds. ‘Iron’ quickly confirmed his intention to fight McGregor this summer.

In the event that the fight doesn’t come together for whatever reason, Conor McGregor has another potential opponent. Speaking on The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani earlier this week, Paulo Costa called to face the former UFC champion. However, it’s not a mean-spirited callout in any facet. Much the opposite, in fact.

Speaking on The MMA Hour, Paulo Costa was actually full of praise for Conor McGregor. The Brazilian called ‘The Notorious’ one of the greatest fighters of all time, and said that he has tons of respect for him. However, he still wants to fight him up at middleweight. That’s partially due to the fact that 185 pounds is a bit empty right now, according to the Brazilian.

However, the former title challenger also just believes a fight with McGregor would be fun. In the interview, Costa stated that he wouldn’t attempt to take down the former dual-weight champion. Instead, he would love to meet him in his world on his feet. While he doesn’t know when the bout will happen, the Brazilian believes it could happen this year.


Paulo Costa

Paulo Costa calls to face Conor McGregor in longshot UFC middleweight clash

“I think so, I think we’re going to fight,” Paulo Costa stated to Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour earlier today, discussing a potential fight with Conor McGregor. “I think so, honestly. Honestly, yes [this year]. I think this can happen, but we’re going to fight somewhere. [I feel strong about this] because he’s moving up, we don’t have too much middleweight guys right now. My style and his style is a good matchup.”

He continued, “I would not try and take him down either. I think he’s huge, strong. He’s an exceptional fighter, one of the best of all time. Chandler can’t fight at 185, I don’t think so. So, that’s why there are better matchups for McGregor at 185 than Michael Chandler. Yes [I think McGregor is serious about fighting at middleweight], I think he can.”

“He’s so confident in his skills, I think he can.” Paulo Costa concluded, discussing a potential fight with Conor McGregor. “Maybe he’s made some jokes, about what weight is the best for him. But, the guy, I just have a lot I want to talk about Conor. We want that [fight] right?”

What do you make of these comments? Do you believe Paulo Costa vs. Conor McGregor will happen? Who do you have in that hypothetical UFC middleweight scrap?


Conor McGregor Paulo Costa UFC