Paulo Thiago gained attention from fans worldwide when he debuted at UFC 95 and stunned the world by knocking perennial contender Josh Koscheck into another dimension. The MMA world sat stunned, and Dana White had a new prospect to market as the next best thing.
Unfortunately for Paulo, plans went south in his second UFC outing, as he was grounded and outwrestled by another former title challenger: Jon Fitch.
The knockout of Koscheck was nothing short of brilliant, and his battle with Fitch was spirited, but Thiago has proven to be an inconsistent competitor who apparently only shows up motivated, healthy and fully prepared for battle approximately half of the time. As of today, the Brazilian’s promotional record stands at 4-4.
Now, the man’s record should probably not be brought into question when you consider the level of competition he’s faced since his migration to the UFC: Josh Koscheck, Jon Fitch, Mike Swick, Martin Kampmann and Diego Sanchez are all profoundly tough outs who rank (sans Sanchez, who can’t seem to decide if he's best suited for welterweight or lightweight) amongst the best of the division. There’s not a shred of shame in losing to any of those men.
Regardless of opposition level, there are still quite a few questions looming over Paulo Thiago’s head.