The UFC Vegas 41 main event that almost wasn’t has been saved.
Not that Marvin Vettori appeared to have any intention of letting the fight slip away, but a catchweight of 195lbs has been agreed to, after Paulo Costa announced earlier this week that he was 211lbs ahead of the middleweight fight.
Yahoo Sports was first to report the news. Costa will be fined 20% of his fight purse, which will go to Vettori — a rather low number given the seriousness of the infraction.
Vettori had been vocal during Fight Week that he would take the fight even at light heavyweight if necessary.
Both Costa and Vettori are entering the UFC Vegas 41 card off losses to Israel Adesanya in their last outings. Both men remain top fighters in the 185lb division, though Vettori has been far more active over the past year.
Apparently in denial about blowing weight by a wide margin for a contractually agreed upon middleweight fight, Costa attempted to tell Yahoo Sports that it was the UFC who requested the catchweight bout. “The UFC thought it would be better to be 195 or 200 because it would be a better fight, more exciting,” he reportedly told the outlet.
Never mind that coming in heavy is what forced the switch in the first place. In essence, what the UFC did was throw the Brazlian a lifeline, hence the paltry 20% fine.
Update, 10/22/2021: The fight has been moved up again, to light heavyweight.
UFC Vegas 41 takes place this Saturday, October 23 at the Apex Arena in Las Vegas. The card currently breaks down as follows:
Paulo Costa vs. Marvin Vettori
Grant Dawson vs. Rick Glenn
Jessica-Rose Clark vs. Joselyne Edwards
Alex Caceres vs. Seung Woo Choi
Dwight Grant vs. Francisco Trinaldo
Nicolae Negumereanu vs. Ike Villanueva
Jun Yong Park vs. Gregory Rodrigues
David Onama vs. Mason Jones
Tabatha Ricci vs. Maria de Oliveira Neta
Jamie Pickett vs. Laureano Staropoli
Khama Worthy vs. Jai Herbert
Jeff Molina vs. Daniel Lacerda
Lívia Renata Souza vs. Randa Markos
Jonathan Martinez vs. Zviad Lazishvili