This month, Paulo Costa (14-2 MMA, 6-2 UFC) ended a two-fight losing streak by defeating Rockhold via unanimous decision, forcing the former UFC and Strikeforce champion into retirement. The Brazilian dominated on all three scorecards and claimed afterward that he was eager to go back into action quickly.
That is obviously not going to occur at this time. Costa disclosed on his YouTube account that he had recently undergone surgery to repair injuries to his right hand.
“I broke my hand in the fight,” Costa said.
“I thought I had a bone injury or maybe ligaments, but what really happened was a fracture to the metacarpal bone. I hoped it wasn’t a fracture because then I would be able to come back to fighting again in 50 or 60 days and use all the conditioning and the whole camp I’ve done.”
In spite of the fact that metacarpal bone fractures are rather common, surgery is likely to prevent Costa from finishing up his UFC contract with a bout this year.
Costa has one more fight on his UFC contract before becoming a free agent, despite his claims to the contrary leading up to UFC 278.
Dana White, president of the UFC, has expressed interest in re-signing Costa if the fighter can prove his fitness and return to action.
Costa stated there is hope he might return to the cage at one of the three UFC events in December, but a fight on home territory when UFC 283 visits Rio de Janeiro on January 21 is more plausible.
“I’ll have to fight in December or January. We’ll have a UFC card in Rio, so maybe it happens there. It’s up to the UFC.” Costa said.