UFC 278: Paulo Costa Goes Off on USADA Following Weigh-In Day Drug Test

Paulo Costa, UFC 278
Paulo Costa, UFC 278 official weigh-in Credit: Eddie Law/Cageside Press

Paulo Costa is livid at having his weight cut interrupted early Friday morning in order for USADA to collect a drug test sample.

During Friday morning’s UFC 278 official weigh-in, attended by Cageside Press, Costa threw up double middle fingers as he got off the scale. “F*ck USADA!” the fighter was overheard saying.

An early morning encounter with USADA officials appears to be the reason behind Costa’s behavior.

Taking to social media to give his side of the story, the Brazilian middleweight stated that USADA’s sample collector arrived at his hotel room at 6AM to draw blood — while the fighter was dehydrated and cutting weight.

“F*ck the the boss on (sic) Usada who sent their agents this morning at my sleep room 6 am to take my blood out!!!” Costa exclaimed in a brief statement. “I was cutting weight very dehydrated and they wants took my blood ! F*ck those guys!!! I never been caught by usada test I don’t need this f*ck sh*t.”

While Costa has never failed a drug test, he was previously suspended six months for use of an illegal IV used to re-hydrate after weighing in for fights against Oluwale Bamgbose and Johny Hendricks in 2017. The doctor who administered the IV, Lucas Penchel, was banned for two years.

Costa (13-2) faces Luke Rockhold in the co-main event of UFC 278 on Saturday in Salt Lake City, Utah. He’ll be looking to snap a two-fight skid in the bout, after losing a title fight against Israel Adesanya, and a subsequent fight opposite Marvin Vettori.

Ahead of the Vettori fight, Costa’s inability to manage his weight saw the fight bumped from middleweight to a catchweight — then all the way to light heavyweight by the time the bout arrived.

“Borrachinha” did successfully make weight on Friday morning, hitting the scales at 185.5 pounds for his bout with Rockhold.