UFC middleweight Paulo Costa made the news earlier this week in Brazil after being accused of assaulting a nurse over a vaccination card, and he has finally opened up about the situation.
Costa, who one day after the alleged assault posted a long statement on his social media account claiming “the accusations and facts narrated do not reflect the reality of what happened,” posted a video in Portuguese to weigh in on what he called a “very uncomfortable and sensitive topic.”
Costa did not explain in the video what happened at a vaccination station where the incident allegedly happened and whether or not he was vaccinated. The nurse who accused him of assault claimed the UFC fighter tried to get a vaccination card despite not getting the COVID-19 vaccine.
Costa claims he wanted cops to be called as soon as the nurse accused him of assault because, he said, “I was sure that was a false accusation.”
“I think it’s hard to have uglier and more terrifying news than this one,” Costa said in his native Portuguese. “When you hear news like that, you start to imagine a fighter, a heavyweight almost, 220 pounds, a martial arts professional, the damage he would cause to the face of a helpless layperson. A catastrophic image comes to mind.
“I didn’t come here to say smooth words to try to smooth something [over] or try to apologize. No, nothing like that. I came here to clear this fact. I’m putting my face out here because I have nothing be fear. I came here to talk to you guys because I have an image, and this image needs to be taken care her.”
Costa claimed he had “facts and proof that this accusation is false, that it was an attempt to harm me,” and shared pictures he claimed are the alleged 26-year-old victim at the local precinct. MMA Fighting was unable to verify the authenticity of the photos. In response to questions about their origin, his vaccination status and the alleged incident, Costa wrote via text, “Everything will be explained, but the focus now is the most serious accusation, which is the assault, the elbow.”
According to Costa, the fact the woman’s face shows no apparent bruises in the photos prove his innocence.
“This assault, that she accused me of, never existed,” he said. “Not this assault, and not any other assault form me to any woman or person. I vehemently deny this fact and would never do, especially an elbow to the face, like this person alleges.”
Costa is scheduled to return to the octagon on Aug. 20 against former champion Luke Rockhold. By the rules of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Borrachinha” will have to be fully vaccinated 14 days before boarding his flight to the U.S.