Prospect Watch: Brazil’s Alessandro Costa

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Alessandro Costa
Alessandro Costa (left) and Ivan Hernandez-Flores Credit: Combate Americas

Our Prospect Watch takes us back to Brazil this week, where we take a closer look at flyweight up-and-comer Alessandro Costa — The reigning LUX Fight League flyweight champion.

Tale of the Tape

Fighting out of Manaus, Amazonas, Brazil but living in Mexico
Age: 25
Weight class: Flyweight
Height: 5 foot 3
Training out of Legacy MMA / Brazilian Warriors
Record: 9-2
1 KO/TKO, 6 Submissions

Pros

  • Submission threat
  • Chains together submissions well
  • Dangerous off his back
  • Excellent armbar
  • Good counter right
  • Good leg kicks
  • Solid wrestling
  • Good gas tank
  • Slick jiu-jitsu
  • Creative attack
  • Good chain-wrestling

Cons

  • Will telegraph his takedowns at times
  • Will get over aggressive in positions
  • Deceptive to leg kicks

Striking/Kickboxing: B+

Alessandro Costa, although more of a jiu-jitsu player, is a dangerous guy on the feet. His last fight can attest to that, with Costa finishing his opponent with a nasty liver punch. Costa’s right hand is his money shot. He has a good lunging right hook and when pressed back has a sharp counter right hand. He dips under punches and returns with fire combinations. Costa throws with some big power but his hand speed really stands out. The Brazilian doesn’t shy away from throwing explosive shots such as flying knees, rolling thunder, cartwheel kicks. Not overdoing with the flashy stuff but he has it to throw.

Movement: B-

Costa isn’t bouncing all over the cage but is light on his feet. He’ll allow himself to become flat-footed at times. His feet are quick and it shows when he decides to explode forward. His movement is good off his back foot which is where he’s at best when it comes to his footwork.

Clinch: C+

Costa hasn’t really been into the clinch a considerable amount of time in his fights. He’s usually on the outside fighting or on the ground using his jiu-jitsu.

Wrestling: A-

There are times Costa has shot from too far out and was seen coming way before it happened. That’s rare and while it does happen, it’s later in the fights or just a mistake he won’t repeat over and over. Costa does a fine job ducking under punches to get the takedown. He’s good at using trips/throws in the clinch. Even circling to the back and muscling guys down Costa does well. Costa has the ability to chain wrestle, as if he doesn’t complete the first takedown, he can cut a corner and adjust to get it down.

Grappling: A

What’s even better than his wrestling is his grappling. I’d rate Costa as a high-level jiu-jitsu practitioner. His biggest issue is he can get overzealous when trying to transition to a dominant position. On top or on bottom Costa is a big submission threat. He has fluid hips off his back, being able to quickly attack an armbar. Even on top the armbar is what he likes to attack with. He’ll take risk going for armbars, jumping to a triangle, and taking the back because he’s so good in any position. Costa knows no stalling once he gets the takedown. Right away he’s working to pass guard and get into better positions.

Cardio: A-

Brazil’s Costa has gone the distance three times and looked fine. He even went five rounds last September and didn’t really slow down. Costa fights with high energy but it’s in bursts, so he doesn’t tire himself out quickly. He’s never conservative, but rather has proven adept at being more patient. Still, Costa is always going to work to finish and that’s why he does at least slow down in championship rounds.

Defense: B-

When it comes to takedown defense, Costa hasn’t shown any issue: it’s more submission before position with him. That hasn’t affected him yet, but against other good BJJ fighters, he could be hurting. His biggest worry defensively is on the feet. At times he becomes stationary and from the outside, he can get stuck at range. The main issue is he really never checks leg kicks and when he plants that lead leg forward that makes it even worse. He still has never let the leg kicks bother him and does a good job getting his head away for the most part.

Overall: A-

I really like Costa as a prospect in the flyweight division. His speed, explosiveness, and athleticism match what a top-level flyweight should be. Costa has fought decent competition but not anyone who I’d consider high-level. His jiu-jitsu/grappling is a real treat and he can compete in the UFC in just that one area. I’m really impressed with his striking as well as it’s becoming more and more of a threat. His hands are very sharp and his shot placement is pretty good. Costa is a well-rounded fighter with tons of potential. He’s also very exciting to watch.

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