Paulo Costa had been hoping to make a quick return to the Octagon after his decision win over Luke Rockhold at UFC 278 just over a week ago, but those plans have now been put on hold after he revealed he’s just underwent surgery for a broken hand.
“I broke my hand in the fight,” Costa said on his YouTube channel. “I thought I had a bone injury or maybe ligaments, but what really happened was a fracture to the metacarpal bone. I hoped it wasn’t a fracture because then I would be able to come back to fighting again in 50 or 60 days and use all the conditioning and the whole camp I’ve done (for Rockhold).”
Costa currently has just one fight remaining on his current UFC contract, and he’s now eyeing the possibility of it taking place back home in Brazil, with the UFC preparing to return to the country for the first time in several years for UFC 281 in January.
“I planned on fighting in 60 days, but it won’t be possible,” Costa said. “I’ll have to fight in December or January. We’ll have a UFC card in Rio, so maybe it happens there. It’s up to the UFC.”
There’s no word on a potential opponent for the 6th ranked middleweight at this time, though fellow Brazilian Thiago Santos has called him out to fight him in Rio. Santos is currently competing at 205lbs however, so it’s not clear whether he intends to drop back down to 185lbs after losing five of his last six fights at light-heavyweight, or would like Costa to move up to face him.
However, Costa’s coach recently suggested either the winner of the upcoming Robert Whittaker vs. Marvin Vettori fight or Derek Brunson as the best options for him.