Former UFC light heavyweight title challenger Anthony Johnson is not impressed with recent middleweight title challenger Paulo Costa.
Costa (13-1 MMA) put his undefeated mixed martial arts record on the line while hoping to dethrone middleweight champion Israel Adesanya (20-0 MMA) at last weekend’s UFC 253 pay-per-view event on Fight Island.
The highly anticipated contest did not result in the “fight of the year” many were expecting to see. Instead, ‘Stylebender’ handled ‘The Eraser’ with relative ease, on route to a second round TKO victory.
Former UFC light heavyweight title challenger Anthony Johnson was not surprised by the result in last weekend’s UFC 253 event headliner. ‘Rumble’ shared his thoughts on the contest on a recent podcast with Mike Swick.
“I figured that was gonna happen,” he said regarding Adesanya’s win (via MMAMania). “Costa is a little flat footed, a little bit. He’ll pressure you, he knows how to go forward. I don’t think he knows how to go backwards. But I’ve trained with Stylebender, he’s whupped my butt pretty good. Came in the gym, had just finished his kickboxing match a week or two before. And that’s when I had just started my camp and he came and put a beating on me. He’s really good, gotta give him credit, he’s the best.”
“But Costa, when you showboat like that you actually … you’re not focused. How many people have played that game and have come out successful? That’s not something to play with, especially not in a championship. Don’t play like that. Stylebender was serious, Costa came in thinking that he’s just a white belt, he’s nothing, he’s skinny,” Anthony Johnson continued. “Hey, being skinny has its advantages, dude. I don’t understand all of a sudden either why Costa is getting so upset after he saw what Stylebender did to him, you know? I was like ‘Dude, you were the one talking so much and then he gets you at the end and now you mad? Because he embarrassed you? Come on man, grow some balls. Man up to that.’ It is what it is. You can’t demand a rematch either after a performance like that either. That’s not smart. That’s not gonna sell for sure.”
Anthony Johnson has not fought since April of 2017, when he was submitted in his second attempt at swiping the UFC light heavyweight title from Daniel Cormier. Despite his lengthy hiatus, he does not seem to have lost a step in training.
The hulking light heavyweight shared some training footage to Instagram over the weekend, and the entire UFC light heavyweight roster is bound to take notice.
Over the course of his MMA career, Anthony Johnson has picked up victories over a long list of respected foes across four weight classes, including Glover Teixeira, Ryan Bader, Jimi Manuwa, Alexander Gustafsson, Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, Phil Davis, Andrei Arlovski, David Branch, Charlie Brenneman, Dan Hardy, Yoshiyuki Yoshida.
What do you think of Johnson suggesting that Costa should be embarrassed of how he handled his UFC 253 loss to Israel Adesanya? Share your thoughts in the comments section PENN Nation!
This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on September 30, 2020