Salt Lake City, UT — Like many others, Dana White was not happy to hear that Paulo Costa had been drug tested during his weight cut, just hours ahead of Friday’s UFC 278 official weigh-in.
At the least, it’s annoying, at the worst, potentially dangerous to be drawing blood from a fighter trying to dehydrate himself ahead of hitting the scales.
During Saturday’s UFC 278 post-fight press conference, White addressed the subject, revealing that he had apologized to Costa later that day.
“I apologized to him on stage. That will never happen again to any fighter,” White exclaimed. What it boils down to, in White’s opinion, is that while USADA knows the drug testing aspect, they don’t know mixed martial arts.
“They don’t know about fighting the way that people who know about fighting know about fighting,” noted White. “You don’t go in and test a guy at six in the morning when he’s cutting weight. The result is going to be the same a few hours later. You wait. I apologized to him on stage when he came out, and that won’t happen to another fighter again.”
White also revealed that the conversation with USADA had already taken place, though he didn’t speak with the drug testing agency directly. “I didn’t, but yeah we have [had the conversation].”
On another front, White questioned whether Merab Dvalishvili really did enough to insert himself in the title picture at bantamweight. Dvalishvili earned a three-round unanimous decision win over Jose Aldo, but has consistently stated he will not fight friend Aljamain Sterling, who holds the bantamweight title.
“I didn’t see a lot of offense out of Jose Aldo. I just think that when you’re on a card like this, the place is packed like this, and you want to make a statement in that division, you go for it,” said White. “And listen I get it, he’s fighting Jose Aldo and whatever it might be. I don’t know, I don’t think Merab did himself any favors tonight.”
Watch the full UFC 278 post-fight press conference with Dana White above.