A chat with Australian bantamweight #1, Perth’s Rod Costa, ahead of Eternal 85 this weekend

Eternal 85 Rod Costa
Home >Sports >A chat with Australian bantamweight #1, Perth’s Rod Costa, ahead of Eternal 85 this weekend

This weekend the Number 1 bantamweight in Australia, Perth-based champion Rod Costa, will defend his title at Eternal 85 at HBF Stadium.

Costa will face Japanese challenger Kuya Ito in the main event on June 8, in front of his adoptive hometown of Perth.

Originally from Brazil, Costa was an establish Brazilian Jiu Jitsu champion before he transitioned to MMA, where he holds a professional record of 8-6.

Costa, who is champion of the 61.2kg division, built his reputation in the early days of his career by taking any fight presented to him, no matter the weight class. In just his third professional MMA fight, Costa fought three weigh classes above his current class, when he faced David Kriel in a 77.1kg fight.

Costa submitted Kriel in the first round to win the bout.

Costa is undefeated at bantamweight and is entering this fight fresh off his victory over Alan Philpott in February, where he submitted Philpott in the third round.

“I like that performance a lot,” he tells us. “As always, there’s a lot I can work on, I feel like I definitely let him throw too much, I let him too free on the standing, but in saying that, I saw the shots coming, nothing really hurt me.”

“I feel like that’s my next evolvement, I feel like I can see the shots coming but I need to be a little more confident in throwing a bit more. The more I throw the less he can throw if I can throw safely.”

The victory marked Costa’s return to bantamweight after a stint at featherweight, where he tried to become a two-division champion by fighting Justin Van Heerden, and then a follow-up featherweight fight against Ethan Thomas, both of which did not go Costa’s way.

To return to bantamweight on a two-fight skid added extra pressure to Costa to reestablish himself at bantamweight, Costa explains: “There was pressure there coming from losses. Especially my loss from Van Heerden because it was the first time I’ve been finished…

“To me when I look at that fight it was a shot that I could have taken a thousand times but that one time it just put me out. It was hard to accept that fight, and its hard to lose two in a row.”

“I know bantamweight is my legit weight,” Costa continues. “If I wanna fight high competition. I still think I can do good things at featherweight, but my natural weight is bantamweight, so I have the confidence of knowing that it’ll be tough to beat me.”

His upcoming opponent is a champion in Japan and holds a professional record of 15-8-1, although Costa was not aware of Ito’s accomplishments when he signed to fight him.

Eternal 85 Rod Costa

“I didn’t know much about him. It was hard to find footage even, but I found some footage from the last show. Everything’s in Japanese when they post stuff, so it was hard to find. I like his style to be honest…

Subscribe to our free newsletter!

“I think he’s a striker, from the fights that I’ve seen. I think he throws a lot with power, his intent is to hurt people. A big challenge I feel.”

The door on featherweight has not been completely closed for Costa, however he is more interested in a rematch with Van Heerden than a title in the weight class.

“I’d rather have a rematch with Van Heerden than win the featherweight title, I feel like I’m set as the bantamweight champion and anyone who wants to come to bantamweight I’ll fight… I want to fight Van Heerden again if he doesn’t make the UFC. That’s the one fight I want at featherweight… I’ve got a little bit of an ego and I’d like to get that one back.”

Eternal 85 will be held at HBF Stadium on Saturday 8 June, with tickets available via eternalmma.com, or you can watch live online via UFC Fight Pass.

Image Credit: Rod Costa via Facebook