In the Clinch - All eyes on Costa vs. Vettori, UFC Fight Night 196In the Clinch - All eyes on Costa vs. VettoriIn the Clinch – All eyes on Costa vs. Vettori, UFC Fight Night 196 – Drama. Some fighters crave it. Some matchups thrive on it.

It looks like Saturday’s main event featuring middleweights Paulo Costa (13-1-0) and Marvin Vettori (17-5-1) will come with a healthy serving of dramatics.

Just to keep us warm, Vettori fired the first shot at the pre-fight press conference, claiming that Costa will not make the 186-pound limit.

He’s a lot overweight,” Vettori said to reporters. “He’s a lot overweight. We’ll have to find some solution. I’ll say, ‘Yes, let’s do it at 205.’ He should be able to do better than that, but worst case I’ll still fight him at 205.”

Costa confirmed to reporters that he will be unable to fight at middleweight. As of Wednesday, he said that he weighed 211 pounds but declined to explain the reasons behind it, saying that he will afterwards.

There’s a good chance the fight will need to be contested at a catchweight.

More drama.

Then, there’s the middleweight title picture. Vettori had his shot at UFC 263, losing to champion Israel Adesanya in June. Now ranked No. 5, he is looking to return to the winner’s circle and vault himself back into the conversation.

Costa lost to Adesanya at UFC 253 last September. He was booked to fight former champion Robert Whittaker in April but pulled out with an illness. He then was linked to Jared Cannonier in August, later claiming he never signed an agreement to fight him. These are the kind of dramatics that Dana White tends to frown upon.

I do believe that Costa will need more than a big win on Saturday for a title shot, but he could also squander his position if he doesn’t make weight,

The weigh-in will tell the tale.

Then, there is the matchup. Vettori has the grappling advantage, but Adesanya proved he can be neutralized with striking. He said he will knock Costa out, but the Italian hasn’t registered a knockout since 2015.  

Costa, who is the favourite, has knockout power and the striking advantage, with a single submission win. He will look to use his striking for as long as he can.

Will fortune favour the dramatic on Saturday?

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