Paulo Costa is currently one of the most devastating strikers in the UFC and on the brink of a middleweight title shot, but the Brazilian star says he’s already mapping out when he will look to retire from the sport.
“We know that the brain is made of cells that don’t regenerate anymore, we can only lose them,” Costa told AGFight. “As you age, that amount of cells decreases, so your reflexes become slower, your speech becomes worse, you forget things.
“I do some research some times. There is Rose, from the Gracie family, she runs a brain donation campaign, for fighters, there’s a whole field of research about that.
“I want to make my career as soon as possible, conquer everything, then I don’t want to fight after I’m 36. I would gladly give them my brain.”
“That’s a pretty serious issue, because we don’t have the data to find out how much that can affect each of us. Each one will have different symptoms and will react different to that amount of strikes.
“What you can do is fight in a way that minimizes those blows to the head.
“During a training session, you can wear protective gear, like helmets. That can really minimize the damage.
“I wear big gloves, I never spar in MMA gloves, I always wear 16-ounce gloves, so I can avoid strikes to the head.”
It only seems sensible for a fighter to be aware of the potential risks and to be planning accordingly, though we have heard in the past of others who have made such deadlines with regards to their fighting career, only to then change their minds when it comes time to actually step away from the sport.
However, the good news with regards to Costa is that he’s still in his prime at 28-years-old and currently remains undefeated with a perfect 13-0 record, so he still has a lot of time left to achieve greatness in the Octagon.