Paulo Costa recalls USADA hell week after UFC split

UFC star Paulo Costa seems happy to see USADA gone, details some ordeals he endured because of their treatment.

By: Lucas Rezende | 1 month ago
Paulo Costa recalls USADA hell week after UFC split
IMAGO/USA Today Network: Paulo Costa was not a fan of USADA.

UFC star Paulo Costa is another MMA fighter in a seemingly quickly growing list of athletes glad that the world’s largest promotion MMA has decided to part ways with United States Anti-Doping Agency. While some of them took the opportunity to make memes and jokes about it on social media, others—like heavyweight champion Jon Jones—have sounded unreservedly happy to see USADA gone, claiming the agency was unfair in their treatment of athletes.

Despite his reputation as a comedian on social media, ‘Borrachinha’ sounded very unreserved in his critiques of USADA’s policies.

Paulo Costa hates USADA

On his official Twitter account, the Brazilian posted a poll, asking his followers whether they thought the UFC’s decision to cut ties with USADA was a good or bad one, with 60% of voters believing it was good. Following that post, Paulo Costa shared some personal experiences that shed some light on why he was not a fan of the agency, as well.

In a short thread consisting of two tweets, the 32-year-old narrated some of the ordeals he had to go through under the drug testing agency’s administration. Among the examples Costa gave were agents waking him up in the middle of the night to take blood and urine samples, or haranguing him during practice hours, interrupting his training camps.

“I hate the way Usada (used to) chase me. Sometimes in (a) hard training camp, I often had anxiety before going to sleep because I was woken up at 4 AM to urinate and have my blood drawn. I could only sleep after breaking my diet and (then) I slept three hours later, losing quality of sleep and (the) morning training (session).”

“Once, they came at me four times in (the) same week. I did seven tests that time, in only one week.” Costa concluded in a following tweet.

Costa and USADA go way back

The fact that Costa is not a fan of USADA not exactly news. Not too long ago, the Brazilian made his feelings unmistakably clear when he stepped on the scale at the weigh-ins for his match against Luke Rockhold at UFC 278. On that occasion, the Fight Ready athlete took the opportunity to send a message, telling the crowd “F—k USADA” after making weight.

That dislike probably stems from the fact that Paulo Costa was fined by the agency twice for using prohibited an intravenous infusions (IV) in 2017, when he was preparing for his match against former UFC welterweight champion Johny Hendricks and UFC vet Oluwale Bambgose. In August 2018, Borrachinha received a retroactive six-month suspension and had to pay a third of his purse to his opponents.

Costa forced out of UFC 294

Paulo Costa’s (14-2) last win still dates back to his aforementioned unanimous decision over former middleweight champion Luke Rockhold, in August 2022. The victory snapped a two-fight losing skid for the 32-year-old, who had dropped a unanimous decision to Marvin Vettori and gotten knocked out by Israel Adesanya, in October 2021 and September 2020 respectively.

Prior to the losses, the Brazilian was undefeated as professional, starting out his time in the Octagon on a five-fight win streak, with four TKO victories. Costa bested notable names such as former welterweight champion Johny Hendricks and veterans Yoel Romero and Uriah Hall, among others.

Most recently, Costa was expected to take on UFC star Khamzat Chimaev at UFC 294, on October 21, in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. However, an elbow injury that required surgery forced the Brazilian to leave the card. Former UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman stepped in on short notice to replace Borrachinha.

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About the author
Lucas Rezende
Lucas Rezende

Lucas Rezende is a Brazilian journalist and writer from Belem, Para. He has been covering MMA since 2012 and contributing with Bloody Elbow since March 2015. When not writing, Lucas also teaches English. In his free time, he enjoys reading, slapping the bass guitar and traveling.

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