On April 13 at UFC 236, New England’s biggest prospect Randy Costa (4-0) will make his UFC debut.
“The Zohan” spoke to The Body Lock about his upcoming fight with Brandon Davis, training under Joe Lauzon and getting the call from the world biggest promotion with only four professional fights.
Forged in New England
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Randy Costa has been a professional mixed martial artist since June of 2018, and in that short period, the New England native has racked up four straight wins. If remaining undefeated to date wasn’t impressive enough, one would be amazed to know that he has knocked out all his opposition in the first round – a statistic that certifies him as a legitimate prospect.
However, many critics have claimed that the 24-year-old is making his UFC debut ‘too soon’ into his MMA journey – an opinion that means nothing to the young prospect.
“I say fuck them, ’cause look who’s headlining my car: it’s Max Holloway. Max Holloway was 4-0 when he had is pro debut [in the UFC]; look at Chris Weidman: [he] was 4-0 when he had his debut; look at Kron Gracie: 4-0 when he made his debut,” Costa told The Body Lock.
“People can say whatever they want, man, but they’re gonna see on April 13th that I’m not just some fucking joke or inexperienced guy. I train with the best guys around, and it’s gonna show.”
Costa trains at Lauzon MMA – a gym founded and run by UFC legend Joe Lauzon. Costa spoke about putting in hours of work with the likes of Joe Lauzon, Rob Font, and Calvin Kattar – all experienced UFC veterans – which he says has him more than prepared to take this next step.
“Lauzon MMA is the best gym around, [it’s] one of the best in the world. We have two guys in the top 10 in the UFC: Calvin Kattar and Rob Font. We have Joe Lauzon, a legend of the sport; Mike Rodriguez, who is a light heavyweight contender. There is a lot of noise coming out of the New England area, and a lot of those guys train at Lauzon MMA.”
New England has been the training ground for many great fighters of the years, such as Kenny Florian, Glover Teixeira, and the aforementioned Joe Lauzon. Nonetheless, the era of New England MMA isn’t over. In fact, Costa says it’s only just beginning, with Lauzon MMA at the forefront.
“If you come [in] on any Saturday to Lauzon MMA, it’s the Mecca for training in New England. There’s upwards of ten current UFC fighters.”
“Its the Mecca dude. It’s the best gym.”
Keeping busy as a mixed martial artist
All one has to do is take a glance at Costa’s record to know that he loves staying active. This is a habit that “The Zohan” plans to repeat within the UFC, as he displayed his interest in competing another three times this year.
“The guys at Lauzon MMA not only make sure that I’m training hard, but I’m training smart. So, I get through these training camps pretty much injury free” said Costa. “The big thing is staying active – I plan to keeping (sic) that same format going with my UFC career. I’d like to get two, three fights in by the end of the year.”
He also issued some words of wisdom to other up and coming fighters.
“Train smart; choose the right [sparring] partners. Don’t train with dickheads. Just make sure you are around people that are in it for the same reason as you.”
Randy Costa last competed two months ago, in January, at Cage Titans 42. There, he knocked out Rob Fuller in a mere 42 seconds in his featherweight debut. The 24-year-old has experience fighting at both 135 and 145 lbs, and Costa doesn’t see any issues making weight for this bantamweight contest.
“If you look at my weigh-ins from when I’m fighting at featherweight, I’m weighing in underweight. Weight is not an issue for me. I’m very disciplined with my diet; I don’t have an off-season.”
“I’m always in crazy shape, always nice and lean, and always within striking distance of making weight.”
To Costa, his disciplined diet and low walking weight are essential to his ability to fight multiple times a year.
“I think that has a big factor in how I’m able to rattle off fights so fast because I’m not going through ‘fat camp,’ I’m going through fight camp.”
Despite optimistically looking ahead towards the future, Costa is by no means overlooking his opponent on April 13th and is immensely excited for their upcoming battle.
“You know how in the 4th of July you have a lot of fucking fireworks? Take the 4th of July and put it on April 13th. It’s gonna be a sick fight. You look at all of Brandon Davis’ fights, and he’s never in a boring [one].”
What’s in store for Randy Costa?
In a previous interview with FloCombat’s James Lynch, Randy Costa has mentioned that he would “love” the opportunity the face rising UFC star Sean O’Malley, who is set to return from a USADA ordeal later this year. When asked about a potential fight with the fellow prospect by The Body Lock, Costa couldn’t contain his excitement.
“I’ve seen Sean O’Malley recently saying that he wanted to fight on July 6th, the International Fight Week card. That would be great! My birthday is on July 6th, so if I get out of this fight unscathed, you best believe I’m gonna be chasing that fight,” said Costa.
“We both have very exciting styles; [they] match up very well. We’re both very charismatic and good at talking, interviews, and promoting fights. So, I think that fight’s inevitable. When? Who knows, but it’ll happen.”
A fan favorite, Costa intends on getting the crowd involved on April 13th. One of the ways he plans on doing this is through his walkout: in all of his pro fights, he has walked out to ‘Round Here’ by Florida Georgia Line and plans on keeping it that way.
“That [song] is not fucking changing man. That whole arena is gonna be singing ‘Round Here.’ It’s gonna be a party when I walk out of the State Farm arena.”
UFC 236 is headlined by featherweight champion Max Holloway, who is moving up to face top-ranked lightweight Dustin Poirier for the interim lightweight championship; a title that ‘guarantees’ the winner the next shot at the Khabib Nurmagomedov.
Costa gave The Body Lock his prediction for the main event, as well as his prediction for the co-main, Kelvin Gastelum vs. Israel Adesanya for the interim middleweight title.
“I like Max and Dustin. I think they’re fucking awesome; awesome fighters. Both extremely tough dudes, but Max always, always, always finds ways to win. He’s so good at what he does: his gas tank is endless, even at 145. Now, he has that extra ten pounds… I think he’s gonna pull it away.”
For the co-main event, he thinks Kelvin Gastelum will win and gives a good reason why.
“I think Gastelum’s gonna get it done, man. Izzy [Adesanya] is a Rubix cube, for sure, but he hasn’t fought someone as gritty and [with] a wrestling style like Gastelum. Gastelum is so tough. He throws bombs [and] has outstanding wrestling. I think Gastelum’s gonna get it done.”
If all goes according to plan for Randy Costa on April 13th, he will validate the fact that he is a rising prospect in the MMA world; his confident and smart promotional skills, combined with his imposing and eye-catching fighting style, are all the ingredients for a future star.
With four straight knockout wins to begin his career and a personality chock-full of witty comments, be sure to keep remember the name Randy Costa as he makes his UFC debut.
Costa is set to take on Brandon Davis on UFC 236 which takes place on April 13 from Atlanta, Georgia.
Steven specialises in MMA and Lethwei. He loves a good 1-2 down the middle.