“I was starving some nights”: Alessandro Costa reflects on life before the UFC became a reality in Mexico.


Alessandro Costa had a chance to sign with the UFC this past July at Dana White‘s Contender Series, but a split decision win wasn’t enough to impress the UFC president. Costa makes his UFC Vegas 66 debut against Amir Albazi five months later.

Costa said on this week’s episode of Trocacao Franca that he was “sad” with his DWCS victory because he didn’t perform like his true self. He bounced back with a 12-second knockout in October at LUX, an organization where he reigned as a longtime flyweight champion, and finally earned the deal to compete in the octagon.

“Ever since I lived in Manaus, a blue belt in jiu-jitsu watching Jose Aldo fight, I said my dream was to be like Jose Aldo,” Costa said. “Leaving Manaus and conquering the world, becoming UFC champion and hearing [Bruce Buffer] say, ‘Manaus, Brazil.’ I left with that dream in mind, and when my manager said I was fighting Saturday, I couldn’t believe it. It’s seven years of hard work. I recalled every time I considered giving up. That’s why I am motivated every day .”

Costa was 19 when he left home with a few friends to compete in a jiu-jitsu tournament in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, and “see how life was out there, because life was very hard in Manaus.” Costa trained seven days a week in his hometown and couldn’t even afford to pay for his registration to compete in jiu-jitsu tournaments.

Costa teamed up with Diego Lopes to remain in the country, and to find a job that would pay their bills. Working as everything from a gardener to a garbageman, Costa eventually booked his first official MMA fight. Costa replaced Lopes quickly after he pulled out of his fight due to injury. What resulted was two sub-minute wins in a span of 15 days.

Costa had his rough moments and thought of giving up and moving back to Brazil, though. His Spanish and English were not sufficient to be able to operate in hotels that are crowded with tourists from around the globe. In order to work as a gardener, he’d walk for an hour to get to work for his nine-hour shift since he couldn’t even afford to pay for a bus fare.

” I missed my family, and there wasn’t much food for us to eat. I starved some nights,” Costa said. “I texted my coach and said it sucked, that there was nothing for me there, and I thought about going back to Manaus. “Man, that’s what I said, but it was not going to happen. But you need to figure out a way to get there .'”


Being a Brazilian in Mexico proved to be beneficial at times, especially for someone trying to get sponsors. Costa eventually opened his own team with Lopes and then partnered with Francisco Grasso, coach of Alexa Grasso and Irene Aldana. He was able to improve his striking and teach jiu jitsu.

After four long years of intensive work with Grasso Costa is ready to take on Albazi in Las Vegas.

“His style is similar to mine,” said Costa, who’s scored half of his 12 MMA wins by submission. His striking is okay, but his feet are my strength. I’m also a jiu jitsu expert. Wherever we go, he’s in for a fight.”

Source: https://www.mmafighting.com/2022/12/17/23511513/it-sucked-alessandro-costa-intense-life-mexico-ufc-dream-becomes-reality?rand=96749