Paulo Costa appears to be the latest fighter to have suffered from the effects of so-called ‘Long Covid’, which is in part why he’s had to step away from a bout against former middleweight champion Robert Whittaker in a months time.
“We just want to postpone [the fight] a week or two so ‘Borrachinha’ can recover,” Costa’s brother and coach Carlos Costa told mmafighting.com. “He had COVID and then had the flu, and the flu is taking a long time to go away. We just want to postpone [the fight].”
Fighters like Khamzat Chimaev and Cody Gardbrandt have previously reported difficulties in shaking Covid-19 after attempting to continue training while they still have it, and it seems that has also been a problem for Costa too.
“[Paulo’s] symptoms were moderate,” Carlos explained. “But there’s an issue: He never stopped training. He continued training. He hasn’t fully recovered since then.
“He had a sore throat, and then a huge secretion in the chest. His physical conditioning dropped a little bit, and then a few weeks ago he had this severe flu.
“We’ll get [a] chest X-ray and other exams done to see if COVID has affected anything.”
With that in mind it seems like just giving Costa an extra week or two to recover might be a bit too soon and so it’s no surprise to see that the UFC have made alternative arrangements to have Whittaker fight Kelvin Gastelum instead.