On Thursday, the promotion finalized new terms of the bout agreement between Costa and Vettori, with the headliner now taking place at a catchweight of 195 pounds. With that, Costa (13-1 MMA, 5-1 UFC) will forfeit 20 percent of his purse to Vettori (17-5-1 MMA, 7-3-1 UFC).
A person with knowledge of the situation confirmed the news to MMA Junkie on Thursday after an initial report from Yahoo! Sports. The person asked to remain anonymous since the promotion has yet to make an official announcement.
The 10-pound allowance comes after Costa estimated on Wednesday that he weighed approximately 211 pounds. While he did not give a specific explanation and admitted he may not even have one, Costa urged the UFC that fans would be in for a better fight at a catchweight.
“I think this fight will happen – it just will not happen if he does not want to fight me,” Costa told MMA Junkie at Wednesday’s media day. “Maybe we can do a catchweight. Ninety kilos (approximately 198 pounds), maybe. I think making this fight (at a catchweight) could be more exciting to the fans – more explosive fight because I want to go bring the fight for him. Maybe he wants to bring the fight to me. So, I think with both guys heavy, this knockout can happen easily.”
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Meanwhile, Vettori seemed annoyed but generally unfazed by the situation. The Italian middleweight went as far as to say he’d fight Costa at heavyweight, if need be.
“The last thing I want is for the fight to be scratched, so I’ll fight him at any weight,” Vettori said. “With that being said, he needs to suffer a little bit making weight. All of us go through that. That shows. He’s a lot overweight.”
UFC Fight Night 196 takes place Saturday at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas. The card streams on ESPN+.