WILMINGTON, Mass. – If you were surprised by the news, Randy Costa was not. The writing was on the wall. His tenure in the UFC is over, at least for now.
“Man, it was no secret,” Costa told MMA Junkie after commentating on Combat FC 2 at Shriners Auditorium. “It was going to happen. I’m on a three-fight skid.
Costa, 28, was recently released from the UFC after a quick submission loss Oct. 1 to Guido Cannetti. For the first time in three and a half years, Costa (6-4) is a free agent again. He leaves the UFC with a promotional record of 2-4 with knockout wins over Journey Newson and Boston Salmon.
For Costa, the biggest difficulty he had was not his skills or his technique. It was his situational experience and his comfort in the cage. He only spent 2 minutes and 50 seconds in professional competition before the UFC, which included almost zero absorbed strikes.
“I was probably justified in being cut after the last fight, after losing to Tony (Kelley), but they gave me another opportunity, and I passed it up,” Costa said. “It is what it is, man. It’s part of the game. I’m young in the sport. I was 4-0 when I came to the UFC. The first time I got punched in the face was my UFC debut. I feel like technically I’m there, and my talent level is there. I just need to gain more experience and settle into the fights a bit more so I can really show what I am.
Costa only had four professional fights when he joined the UFC in 2019. He was forced to mature on the fly. This included a move to South Florida to train at Kill Cliff FC (formerly Sanford MMA).
Sacrifices were made and he gave his best, but Costa believes a regrouping will prove beneficial. Positivity in the face of adversity is nothing new for Costa. He handles the exit in stride and vows to return to the UFC within the next 18 months.
“What’s it going to do for me to feel bad about myself and feel sorry for myself?” Costa said. “It’s not going to do anything at all. I’d like to think that I try to be a positive role model and inspire the kids in the town I’m from in Taunton. It is what it is, man. I’m not the first person to have missed something. I tried. It’s like that. I will not give up. I will continue. We’re going to turn this shitty little phase of my life into something positive. I know I will come back to the top. I will land on my feet. It’s a little, little bump in the road. It is not finished.”
So it’s back to the New England regional scene, which includes a healthy portion of promotions like CES MMA, Combat FC, Calvin Kattar’s Combat Zone and Cage Titans, the organization Costa started out in.
The plan is to stage one fight by the end of the year and then three or four more in 2023. Costa has also been hired by promoter Joe Cavallaro for commentary responsibilities. He called the first two events for the UFC Fight Pass Combat FC promotion, which is slated to hold its next card on Feb. 10.
“I think now that I’m a free agent, I can go out there and stay active a little bit more and show the UFC like, ‘Hey, that wasn’t a fluke. I’m winning that shot 4 -0. I’m going to win it again. It’s a little bump in the road, man,” Costa said. “It’s like that. … I know I will come back. I know I’ll be back, mate. After fucking frozen pizza on my way. I send it, baby.