Welcome to the UFC: Melquizael Costa

Melquizael Costa
Melquizael Costa Credit: Legacy Fighting Alliance

The UFC is back in Brazil for the first time in almost three years on Saturday. It’s a big card too as UFC 283 hits Rio de Janeiro with two title fights in tow. There are five Brazilians on the card that will be making their UFC debut. One of those is Melquizael Costa, who is being brought in on short notice to fight Thiago Moisés. Moises was expected to fight Guram Kutateladze but he pulled out due to injury and Costa stepped up.

Melquizael “Melk” Costa
Standing at Five-foot-ten
Fighting at 155 lbs (lightweight)
Fighting out of Bauru, Sao Paulo, Brazil
Training out of Chute Boxe João Emilio
A pro record of 19-5
7 KO/TKOs, 6 Submissions

How will Costa fare in the UFC:

Melquizael Costa is a veteran on the Brazilian scene that has fought all over the place. it’s nice to see him get this shot in the UFC because it’s well-deserved. He’s 8-2 in his last ten fights and he arguably won those two fights he lost.

Costa can wrestle and grapple when needed but is much more confident on the feet. I love the activity Costa has on the feet. He’s always throwing in groups and is never throwing the same strike back-to-back. He’ll go to the legs, body, and head frequently. He throws in volume and attacks from all angles and at all limbs. Costa can also be patient and counter his opponents with good footwork. He’s not the fastest nor has that much power but it’s his vision and shot placement that sets him apart.
Costa has just as many submission finishes as he has KO/TKO finishes. His takedown defense isn’t great but is good off his back. He does fine at getting back to his feet. I don’t rate his wrestling high but his grappling holds up. He’s experienced, well-rounded, still growing, and still really young. Only the good fighters will beat Costa.

How he matches up with Moises:

Moises is a tough guy for anyone making their debut but is beatable. The last five years Moises has only lost to the best of the division. He’s a jiu-jitsu guy but is good everywhere. Costa has the better striking and Moises has the better grappling. Moises isn’t much of a wrestler. He only has eight takedowns in nine UFC fights. I can see Costa winning, but I can also see Moises winning due to the high-level experience. I think he can mix it up enough to win on the scorecards.