Joshua Fabia is one mad cookie, but in 2022 many ugly aspects of doing business with the UFC got exposed – including how the UFC or someone close to the organization had used anonymous texts to try and manipulate Francis Ngannou going into his title defense.
Now Fabia has long insisted that the UFC was using psychological warfare on Diego Sanchez – but in his latest interview he goes on to shed light on one infamous MMA moment unrelated to Sanchez.
Back at UFC 253 in Abu Dhabi, Paulo Costa suffered a devastating loss to Israel Adesanya that caused his entire career to go into a tail spin. In the aftermath of the loss, Costa reveled he had drank a bottle of wine the night before and struggled to get to sleep.
“My weight cut was very hard, but it’s always hard,” Costa told ESPN. “The problem is that in Abu Dhabi, the fight happens in the morning, not at night. So, you get one night more [of recovery]. And what happened is, after my weight cut, I had recovered very well. But then I trained so hard. I was so confident, that I trained hard. I trained more than is recommended after a weight cut. And I think this made a lot of problems in my body. I had a lot of cramps and I had a lot of problems trying to sleep.”
“I had decided to fight. I would not let this fight fall out,” Costa said. “After the physical therapist stepped out of my room, I went to my bed but couldn’t fall asleep. I tried melatonin, but it didn’t work. Sometimes I will use one cup of wine when I feel a lot of stress, it’s helped me a little bit, but just one cup, when I have time to put it out of my body. But it was too late. I was desperate to fall asleep.”
But Fabia actually went on to imply this was because the UFC had orchestrated for Diego and a number of Brazilian athletes including Costa to be on the side of the hotel that was next to the race track of some sort. Here’s what Fabia had to say about the incident:
“Nobody’s talking about how Izzy is being wildly inappropriate, and not a sportsmen after the win. Okay, nobody’s talking about that weird back hump and stuff.”
“But instead, it becomes Paulo Costa had a poor, showing, you know, and trying to dog this fighter. And I’m hearing him defend himself by saying, you know, I drink two bottles of wine…”
“It’s something a lot of people criticized and ridiculed him for its relies on a bunch of f***ing memes and all that stuff. Absolutely. And that’s the game that the UFC plays to get in the guy’s head. And this is that psychological warfare. So here’s Paulo Costa drinking two bottles of wine to go to sleep. Nobody’s asking, why was it hard to go to sleep? And I’ll tell you why. Because the W Hotel is shaped like a curve. On the inside of the curve of the building, is a racetrack in Abu Dhabi, right? In Abu Dhabi.”
“So it was quiet. I mean super quiet, like eerie quiet all over the place. Because it was just the fighters in the UFC employees and, and that but after the weigh in. Some people started showing up. And it wasn’t a ton of people. But it was it was there was some people I don’t know who they are. I mean, I don’t remember seeing the big time celebrities or anything but I’m sure there was you know, there was some people but what ends up happening the night before the fight is the f—ing race track is going to like three o’clock in the morning. What time does it start out more or less?
“I think I think the actual real noise, the noise that you noticed, didn’t really even start till like maybe 10 o’clock. But it went till three, maybe four o’clock in the morning. I mean, it was insane. And most people don’t understand that the other side of the world, they’re on a quite a bit of a different schedule. They stay up a lot later. And after the weigh in after the weigh in this is the night before the fight. Yes, yeah. And for the you know, that whole time now there’s like a lot of noise.”
“And so you got this hotel that shaped like a scene, or half a quarter of a scene. And what happened was, there’s a bunch of fighters on the inside of the sea, which is on the side of the track where the track is just blasting into you. Well, that was the side that Diego and I were on. That’s the side that all the Brazilians were on the Brazilians were underneath us. And so I can guarantee you Iz (Adesanya) he was on the other side of the building.””