Paulo Costa recently announced that Wallid Ismail is no longer his manager, just two weeks before his UFC 278 matchup against Luke Rockhold.
Costa detailed his whole relationship with Ismail in a 13-minute video that was posted to his YouTube. This made it apparent that he had no difficulties with his former manager.
“I have nothing bad to say about Wallid. He is an honest person and very professional, I just have compliments about him. We just have different views about my career and, because of that, we decided to not work together anymore.”
Tamara Alves is Costa’s girlfriend. Costa said that she would represent him moving forward. The split occurred around two months after Ismail’s agency incurred a significant loss.
UFC flyweight champion Deiveson Figueiredo and Ismail split out in June over the organization’s choice to create an interim flyweight title while he recovered from an injury.
In an interview with ESPN, Paulo Costa girlfriend Tamara Alves told about her initial meeting,
“I met Paulo in 2013. My cousin’s husband trained with him at the gym. He said, “Wow, Tata, there is this very handsome guy at the gym. I think you’d like him.” The gym was hosting a jiu-jitsu championship and he told me to stop by. Paulo was competing there. We greeted each other but didn’t talk. He was really focused.”
“But that day he impressed me. You saw in his face that he was so cool, and you didn’t see that in anyone else. That night, there was a party for the gym staff and we met there. He asked my friend for my number — didn’t even ask me.”
“I don’t think he will become a champion, I know. I’ve never seen anyone go after their dreams as he does. I don’t see his life ending without this.”
Firing your manager is somewhat of a trend lately. Colby Covington first revealed he was doing the negotiating himself with the UFC (prior to Masvidal incident). Later on Sean O’Malley and Dominick Cruz each confirmed that they’re not using managers.
While there’s something to be said about managers like Ali Abdelaziz (who often manages althetes pitted against each other) it’s hard not to point out that going without a manager might not be the smartest move.
Covington, for example, didnt receive PPV points for Masvidal clash and was reportedly paid way under what Masvidal got for their clash.
With UFC athlete pay being such a hot topic it’s interesting to see all these athletes looking to make more money – all the while laying no responsibility or blame at the UFC’s door considering that’s where the profits are and not with their managers.