Paulo Costa showed up this week for his 185-pound fight with Marvin Vettori just as full as a tick, by his own estimation weighing in the vicinity of 210 pounds. He declared right off the bat he wouldn’t be making weight for the fight in the same manner you or I might declare we’re thinking about heading to the grocery store. 

Costa drowsily tossed out a catchweight scenario — or was it an ultimatum? — as if he was in a position of leverage, though he couldn’t say for sure whether that meant 195 pounds, 205 pounds or something higher still.

Vettori, usually the eccentric hothead in fight lead-ups, was a good sport through all of it. He agreed to the 195-pound catchweight at first, and rolled with the punches when the catchweight shifted to 205. He gets 20 percent of Costa’s purse, but more importantly he gets to slug Costa in his mouth on Saturday night for any inconveniences. That seems to be the silver lining to all of this.

Smug Costa has made himself the centerpiece of conversation, and I’ve seen some people out there comparing Costa’s situation to that of Nick Diaz, who just last month showed up to Vegas insisting his fight with Robbie Lawler be moved from welterweight to middleweight. These same people were insinuating that Diaz got a pass because Diaz is Diaz and Costa doesn’t because he’s not. 

First of all, how stupid. 

When I see people doing away with common sense like that just to make a point that the CULT OF NICK DIAZ HAS THE MMA MEDIA EATING OUT OF THE PALM OF HIS HANDS it makes me want to take away their pens. There is such a thing as nuance. These two situations are not all that similar.

Diaz had been away from competitive fighting for six years. He was 38 years old and enjoying a kind of novelty status. His fight was a non-main event against another prior generation name of similar distinction. That fight had no bearing on anything. It was a stretch to even dredge up the first fight from 17 years ago and sell it as a kind of rekindled rivalry. If Diaz had won, he wouldn’t have affected the welterweight division or the middleweight division at all. Was it unprofessional? Sure, but him demanding a fight at middleweight — where Lawler was once upon a time the champion — was hardly a big deal in the grand scheme.

Costa is just 30 years old. He just came off a title shot and happens to be in the prime of his career. He is currently ranked No. 2 in the middleweight division, the one he apparently had no interest in competing in for this fight. The carefree attitude he showed up to this fight week with wasn’t just a fuck you to the UFC and Vettori (who is also coming off a title shot), it was to the middleweight division and ultimately himself. 

It’s not a small detail that this happens to be a main event, either. Costa put a lot of people into very bad positions. If Vettori had pulled the plug, this card would’ve flashed its ugly skeleton. Had Lawler pulled out of his fight with Diaz, it would have been a bummer for his fans. That’s about it.  A lot of people put their trust in Costa’s professionalism. With Diaz? C’mon.

Costa’s casual unprofessionalism has struck me as almost comical. I think the dual interview he did with ESPN’s Brett Okamoto and Vettori himself kind of laid that premise, especially when Vettori wondered aloud if Costa was drunk. After all, Costa blamed his loss against Israel Adesanya on too much red wine the night prior, which remains one of the all-time great excuses. Vettori has had some excuses for losses, too, but he’s never pointed an accusatory finger at an empty wine bottle.

Should Costa lose on Saturday night, maybe it won’t matter all that much. A guy misses weight by 20 pounds, he has that coming. The UFC could insist he move up to 205 permanently, or — if they’re really pissed, and I suspect they are — they could just cut him outright. 

But, more often than not, the offending party on a weight miss comes in and takes care of business. If Costa knocks out Vettori like he did Uriah Hall and Johny Hendricks and all those guys on his early run, it’ll be a very strange, very off-putting look. Especially if he brushes his hands off like he did when they announced his weight on the scale at 205 pounds, happily making the smuggest unprofessional MMA fighter to ever bother showing up.