Paulo Costa reacts to Robert Whittaker loss at UFC 298: ‘Damage or touching?’

Add UFC middleweight Paulo Costa to the list of fighters confused by MMA scoring after UFC 298.

Costa released a statement on his X account after fighting ex-champ Robert Whittaker to a unanimous decision loss at Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif., vowing to change his approach for his next fight.

“Hey mtfks you’re amazing,” he wrote on X. “Thank you all for support. During the fight I felt like I was winning, pressuring him back, and hurt his face, but judge thought different. Anyway I’m back no injuries and next I gonna pressure even more until finish. Lov u all.”

Costa included a clip that appeared to be shot by a fan of his most emphatic work in the fight, a wheel kick that badly hurt Whittaker at the end of the first round. The kick likely stole the frame on two of three judges’ scorecards, though one gave Whittaker the clean sweep, 30-27. According to UFC stats, Whittaker outlanded Costa in significant strikes (95 to 67).

Later, Costa showed a side-by-side comparison of his face next to Whittaker’s after the fight.

“Damage or touching?” he captioned the photo. “Congrats Rob was a great fight. Enjoy.”

To the surprise of many, the middleweight co-main event of UFC 298 did not receive a bonus for “Fight of the Night,” though UFC CEO Dana White said Whittaker and Costa would get some kind of extra reward.

White praised Costa’s performance and heart during the fight. The UFC exec hasn’t always been so positive about the middleweight, who’s withdrawn from announced fights and once showed up grossly overweight for a fight with Marvin Vettori.

“I thought they both looked good,” White said. “Costa…so big, so durable. That front leg, it was almost disfigured, it was so nasty. He stayed in there, kept swinging, kept getting kicked in the leg. …

“We’ve had some weird history with Costa. But when you look at the [Luke] Rockhold fight, and then you look at the fight tonight, Costa comes to fight. When you can get him in there, he comes to fight.”

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