Tracy Cortez Explains Story Behind Infamous Paulo Costa Photo


Tracy Cortez, the rising MMA star, recently sat down for an interview on The MMA Hour to discuss various topics, including her recent fight, her growing popularity, and the infamous Paulo Costa photo. In this article, we will delve into the details of the interview and provide insights into Cortez’s thoughts and experiences.

Controversy Surrounding the Fight

Cortez began by addressing the controversy surrounding her recent fight. She expressed her frustration with her opponent’s actions during the fight, particularly pulling her hair. Cortez firmly believed that it was not an accident and that her opponent did it intentionally. Despite the controversy, Cortez felt confident in her performance and believed that she had done enough to win the fight.

Social Media and Fan Support

When asked about her experience with social media, Cortez mentioned that she receives a lot of positive feedback from her fans. She acknowledged that there may be a few trolls here and there, but overall, her fans have been incredibly supportive. Cortez emphasized that her fans are incredible and that she receives numerous messages of support. She mentioned that she is most active on Instagram and finds it to be a positive platform. Cortez expressed her gratitude for the overwhelming support she has received from her fans, stating that it has been inspiring and heartfelt.

Increase in Popularity

The interviewer noted that Cortez’s popularity has significantly increased over the past year, despite not having fought during that time. Cortez agreed and mentioned that she couldn’t pinpoint the exact reason for her growing popularity. She stated that fans have connected with her on a deeper level this year, and she has received an overwhelming number of messages. Cortez expressed her appreciation for the support and acknowledged that it has been an incredible experience.

The Infamous Paulo Costa Photo

The conversation then shifted to the infamous photo with Paulo Costa. Cortez explained that the photo was taken during a trip to Brazil, where she was greeted warmly by everyone at the academy. She described the atmosphere as familial and expressed her admiration for the tight-knit team. Cortez shared that she wanted to treat everyone to a special dinner and ordered food for the entire team. During the dinner, Costa mentioned that he didn’t know Cortez was managed by Tiki, and they decided to take a picture together. Cortez didn’t think much of it at the time and continued with her day.

However, a couple of weeks later, Costa posted the photo on social media, and it quickly went viral. Cortez admitted that she was surprised by the attention the photo received but decided to embrace it and have a good laugh. She acknowledged that Costa is known for his playful nature and doesn’t take social media seriously. Cortez didn’t address the controversy surrounding the photo and let it run its course.

Lessons Learned and Privacy

The interviewer asked Cortez if she regretted making her personal life public and if she would be more private in the future. Cortez explained that she has noticed that even simple photos of her can go viral, and she considers herself a private person. She mentioned that she has a small circle of friends and prefers to keep her personal life to herself. Cortez acknowledged that she has learned from the experience and will be more cautious about what she shares in the future. She wants to focus on the right fights that will lead her to the title and not just accept any fight that comes her way.

Dealing with Tragedy

The conversation took a somber turn as Cortez discussed the passing of Gloria Cahuto, Henry Cejudo’s sister, who was also close to Cortez. Cortez expressed her condolences to the family and shared that it was heartbreaking news. She explained that she had to compartmentalize her emotions and be selfish during fight week to stay focused. Cortez mentioned that she took some time to process the news and then shifted her focus back to her fight. However, she acknowledged that the reality of the tragedy would hit her later in the week when she had time to reflect.

Future Plans and Return to the Octagon

Cortez revealed that she plans to return to the Octagon early next year. She mentioned that her hand has some bruising but overall feels good. When asked about potential opponents, Cortez stated that she doesn’t have anyone specific in mind but wants to fight someone in the top rankings. She wants to ensure that she earns her way to the title by facing deserving opponents who have been active in the division.

Closing Thoughts

In conclusion, Tracy Cortez’s interview on The MMA Hour provided insights into her recent fight, her growing popularity, and her thoughts on privacy and future plans. Cortez expressed her frustration with the controversy surrounding her fight and her gratitude for the overwhelming support from her fans. She addressed the infamous Paulo Costa photo and how she embraced the attention it received. Cortez also discussed the importance of privacy and learning from past experiences. Despite the controversies and challenges she has faced, Cortez remains focused on her goals and is determined to climb up the rankings and earn a shot at the title. She also expressed her condolences for the passing of Gloria Cahuto and discussed how she compartmentalized her emotions during fight week.

Looking ahead, Cortez plans to return to the Octagon early next year and is eager to face opponents in the top rankings. She wants to ensure that she is fighting the right fights that will lead her to the title, rather than accepting any fight that comes her way. Cortez believes that she is not far from a title shot, but acknowledges that there are other deserving fighters in the division who also deserve their opportunities.

In closing, Tracy Cortez’s interview shed light on her recent experiences and provided a glimpse into her mindset and future plans. Despite the challenges she has faced, Cortez remains determined and focused on her goals. With her growing popularity and impressive performances in the Octagon, it is clear that Cortez is a rising star in the world of MMA. Fans can expect to see more from her in the coming months as she continues her journey towards the title.

and for our first guest of the day who
was coming back for the first time since
May of 2022 it had been that long big
fight for her big time spot a lot of
attention on her going into this fight
and she came out looking fantastic big
win and now very much in the mix once
again we’re talking to Tracy Cortez for
I think the first time in the history of
the show I think this is your first
appearance yes Tracy is that true
this is the first appearance how are you
uh great to have you on thank you so
much for joining us I really appreciate
it and congrats
oh thank you thank you thank you for
having me
um all right so a lot to discuss with
you of course you’re coming off that
very big win uh somewhat emotional win
you you have fought on some big stages
before you fought in Phoenix last time
we saw you but considering everything
that went into this card plus the layoff
and and as you talked about you know a
tough year for you ups and downs was
that one of the biggest if not the
biggest win of your career so far
absolutely I think every I think every
everything here on out the
people see me yeah I see you oh okay
um yeah I think every every uh went from
here now is extremely important but
after like you said a long layoff and
just the the pressure of
ring rust and everything else that came
comes with
fighting it was uh it was
extremely emotional did you feel the
pressure were you super nervous going
into this one
I I kind of did feel the pressure but I
thrive off that [ __ ] you know like I
love it
I feel like I work better really have
there been fights where you didn’t feel
pressure and you didn’t perform as a
um my debut really why is that that’s
kind of backwards
I know when I had my debut I was kind of
just more excited you know I was no one
there was it I knew fresh I didn’t
prepare myself or put myself geek I
didn’t expect nothing you know and as a
result I lost my Pro debut and after
that I kind of put I I put that pressure
upon myself
and ever since I’ve been able to just
Thrive off of it can I ask why didn’t
you fight since last May
just a lot of personal issues you know
life problems
um dealing with
Health injuries
making sure I’m in the right state of
mind everything okay so it wasn’t just
like a serious injury that it was just a
mix of stuff it was life life got in the
life got in the way I I uh I told my PEC
really bad oh damn
um early in the year and then as it was
getting better I I want to say in like
end of March I had surgery on my hand
uh from after I had surgery on my hand I
started running a lot doing more for my
MCL oh so just little injuries here and
there finally I kind of just I healed a
little bit not fully from my head but I
feel took off to Brazil ended up trading
um in Natal Brazil at the Pitbull uh
Academy I was there for a while I
learned I evolved I grew so much and
then um came back
my coaches saw me as a different athlete
after that they saw how I grew and just
a matter of weeks of being out there
um I learned so much from Patricio from
the entire team was just so welcoming uh
came back applied everything that I
learned I texted my coaches I texted my
manager I said hey let’s give me a fight
I’m ready like I’m Healed I feel good my
at the time my hand was still hurting a
little bit to punch because of the
but after that I was good to go
whose idea was it for you to go to
my why did you make this call
I’ve only
I’ve only I’ve never seen anything
outside of my gym
and um talking to Henry I was I was like
man I want to grow I want to evolve it
he’s always telling me like hey you
should try different places because
that’s the only way you’ll grow you
can’t just you won’t you won’t grow or
you can but you need to see more
so then Henry um was like you should
because we know the people Brothers he
said you should go to Brazil you know
it’s safe you know someone you’re not
you’re not gonna run into someone you
might fight in the future
so I we booked a ticket I went to Brazil
he was already there with his wife and
uh his his kid and met him there he
introduced me to everybody he came back
to the States and I just stayed in
Brazil so there wasn’t like a first day
at school Vibe like where you’re the new
kid and you were like you already you
had someone to introduce you you felt
welcomed you didn’t feel threatened at
at all it was the most
just heartfelt welcoming that I’ve I did
not everybody was so kind granny I
didn’t understand nothing because
everyone support uh spoke uh Portugal
Portuguese so
it was the language barrier was a little
difficult but because of the Spanish I
was able to understand a little bit and
uh I ended up learning how to talk in
Portuguese a little bit communicate like
I was able to communicate my way around
do you think that if you don’t take that
trip and maybe uh look at MMA in a
different way and fall in love or
whatever it is that that happened there
that your your return gets delayed even
further that you don’t come back this
past weekend
uh no no I wouldn’t say that okay I I
think I think that trip did me really
good I mean
credit to my coaches you know but I know
uh a lot of what I learned
stand-up wise was there I really got my
confidence up there
in Brazil and of being able to apply it
here and just be consistent and continue
to apply it every single day from when I
came back to up to my fight I think was
um and I applied it you know on the card
uh you are obviously uh a shoe-in for
this card made a lot of sense if there
wasn’t a Noche UFC would you have come
back sooner would you have come back
later it made all the sense of the world
to have you on this date did the timing
just work out perfectly or did you have
to rush to get back because of the card
I think the time
most perfect thing
on this card and my manager was like
perfect that’s a good camp uh and then
they gave me the opponent and I was like
done and then that’s when I thought
that’s when I ended up finding out in
the midst of uh
uh as they start announcing the the the
fight that it’s not cheap and I was like
oh my God September 16th like that’s
incredible uh I I was not there but I
was uh I just did a whole thing talking
about it where I was just completely
captivated it’s one of my favorite
events ever that I’ve watched like the
crowd was incredible the vibe it like it
reminded me why I fell in love with the
sport because it felt so special and
emotional and unique uh you still here
yeah you still see me
yeah I see I’m I’m sorry about that no
problem no problem and so I’m just
wondering for someone who competed who
was a part of the whole week who had
this connection with you could you even
describe what it was like fighting on
Saturday there
oh my God it wasn’t
but I
it sounded when I walked out
like it was a full Stadium
I kid you it sounded like it was so it
was it was so loud in there when I
walked out the energy was incredible
everybody’s energy like
people showed up it was it was such a
great feeling by the way to have that
response after being gone for so long
yeah was I think was just like the
cherry on top
could I ask not trying to stir the pot
or anything but why were you on the
prelims I can argue that you were maybe
like top three or four most popular
fighters on the card why so long
I don’t know I had you know I don’t know
they gave me some
uh reasonable explanations up in the
back and they wanted to they wanted to
test some things and
but it’s okay you know I was uh it is
what it is I don’t
not gonna argue with them were you
at first I was you know at first I was
kind of bummed out like really still
premiums but
uh with it being fight week I didn’t
want to focus too much on that and get
distracted you know it’s hard to fight
week they already told me where I’m
going to be at I let me accept it
and just focus on the fight now there’s
nothing I can do all right that was one
of those things are you happy with your
a little bit
a little bit I
I’m happy in the in terms of
I was able to be composed and really
showcase my hands and the growth you
um but I went on a mission I really
wanted to knock her out
I really wanted to knock her out but
because of uh who she is or like
something she or just because you just
wanted to prove that point regardless of
who it was that you were fighting
I just wanted to prove that point I
wanted to show that I have I have The
Knockout power I wanted to show that uh
I’ve evolved as a fighter
uh most importantly it’s worth to say
you know I wanted to give that crowd
just the excitement what happened with
your hair there
did she pull in your hair she did put my
hair yeah she
there’s a moment where we’re clinching
and her fingers are in my hair and I’m
like what the
I was like No And I’m defending and then
she goes and grabs the other side
and she’s pulling in the back of my
braid here
and I’m like and I feel it and you see
me there’s a bit there’s a different
angle on Twitter
um a top angle and you see where she’s
my hair is getting pulled and when she
lets go that’s what I I get head kicked
and I’m looking at her and I didn’t even
say nothing yet I’m just looking at it
like are you [ __ ] serious right now
you know what you did
and he follows it with with I didn’t
[ __ ] kick it or I didn’t [ __ ] pull
your hair
I was like no you pulled my [ __ ] hair
no one did bother me yeah do you think
she did on purpose
I don’t know I
I just know
I’ve never pulled hair in there
you know so
with the glitch and everything that we
get into I
it’s it I don’t you it’s not an it’s in
my opinion not an accident
did you talk a lot during the fight did
you did she talk to you
okay just then
yeah did you think you had done enough
to win
before they read
I I I I do I do think I won I do think I
won the fight I think
I I dominated dominated in the Striking
I I granted I always think there’s other
things I could always have done better
but I do think I won yeah okay
um but I do see that very little
controversy like back and forth what do
you mean
uh just on Twitter people saying oh it’s
Facebook running the whole time I call
it setting angles but you know to each
their own okay you read that stuff
a little bit yeah why
it’s just there it doesn’t stop coming
in yeah
he was there would you rather not either
I also don’t get on Twitter as much I’d
just be postings okay
um but the numbers just keep piling you
know notifications
um but what I do read the most is on is
on um Instagram okay and is it is it
fairly positive
oh my God everything my fans are
incredible my fans are incredible if you
look at
there’s gonna be a troll or two but for
the most part everyone is so like so
can I can I ask you about that because I
feel correct me if I’m wrong I feel like
this like today or this weekend when you
thought you are infinitely more popular
than the last time we saw you what has
changed in the last year plus what’s the
I would agree yeah what’s changed I
don’t know you know I just I I’m not
doing nothing different I’m just a me
I’m uh I don’t know I don’t know what I
don’t know what it is because also
during that period you haven’t fought so
it’s not like you’ve been on TV every
four or five months but yet it feels
like you have fought the last you know
three four months and you’re like
compared to the fight in Phoenix of May
of 2022 it feels like a totally
different connection that you have with
the MMA fans
yeah I I
I I can’t I can’t really
pinpoint what it is or what I just know
this year alone
fans have just really connected with me
really connected with me the the amount
of messages I get
it’s just super inspiring super
heartfelt it’s it’s been
incredible to say the least I I I don’t
know what it is I honestly don’t know
what it is but
yeah I I do know what you’re saying I
know who to blame for this by the way
oh yeah holocaster that’s all that’s
fault it’s all podcasts
that freaking guy I mean just one post
and you become I I know from experience
one post changed your life
no no how am I gonna give close to all
the credit
no he ain’t getting no credit for this
this is me okay no yeah but about that
yeah not enough that did blow up didn’t
it it was a little
no incident were you surprised by that
a little bit
a little bit yeah it was can I ask you
the backstory there like what what was
the story behind that photo
when I got to Brazil
like I said everybody greeted me so well
everybody was just incredible
other places especially like
there tends to be a lot of ego right and
people aren’t friendly
uh and if they are they try to like rip
your head off in a sparring session or
these when I tell you at the at that
Academy everybody was just so respectful
everybody was so well it felt like a
family there
it really felt like a family and I was
so taken back of how how tight the
entire team was
that I told I I told everybody I forgot
what fight but it was like it was like a
UFC uh
a pay-per-view card and I said hey I
want to treat everybody to like the best
dinner here
so we ordered it I ordered food for
everybody you want to go pick it up when
I got there I had an Airbnb uh Costa was
all the coaches were there the team was
there Patricia was there everybody was
and we’re uh I’m serving everybody and
I’m kind of just I’m hurrying up right
I’m like serving everybody the plate the
entire team like it was such a dope
night and Costa goes hey I didn’t know
you’re managed by uh Tiki I was like
yeah it’s my manager he was here let’s
send him a picture
and you get to see it I’m just like it’s
like a quick yeah all right and I keep
going about my day and then Tiki touches
them and they’re saying they’re showing
me and we’re laughing and
uh I want to say like two weeks later I
come back to the States and then close
the post that photo
right and it was just like happy Friday
from Tracy and me literally like Earth
Saturday whenever whatever day was that
he posted
and I woke up the next because I think
people said that at night I woke up the
next morning oh my sorry yeah oh my God
and I kind of just stayed fine I was
like yeah
and then uh Costa and his wife they they
caught they call me or his fiance I
should say yeah and they’re like oh my
God it blew up and she knows what she’s
doing too Tamara and they’re like well
we’ll address it I go all right thank
you it’s funny but you guys address it
when you know yeah and they let it run
oh my God and then I I let it run too I
was like my [ __ ] like it are it is what
it is now like there’s no going back
so I didn’t address it I didn’t care I
just I just I said it I don’t run with
it too have some fun have a good laugh
and that was it
and that was it yeah that was literally
it that was the that was the backstory
sure it was a quick a picture from my
manager and that was it he’s a he’s a
bit of a of a [ __ ] disturber that
customer but we love him for it
he’s just funny he doesn’t he doesn’t
take it serious he doesn’t take social
media serious it’s it’s all laughs and
the fact that I mean I think people knew
the fans knew nevertheless who doesn’t
love to troll right right yeah um by the
way did he offer you secret juice did
you try it at all
no no I’ve been trying to put my hands
on it as well he won’t uh he won’t offer
it up
um I I do I do you know you you talked
about this at the uh the press
conference and completely understand
where you were coming from but there is
no denying like you you live a very
public life and you you made your life
very public on uh you know relationships
and all that do you regret that in the
sense that like going forward you will
not do that so that people don’t know as
much or won’t pry as much or won’t react
you know because that was part of the
whole cost of thing too right people
were kind of making insinuations do you
learn a lesson from that moving forward
or is that just all part of being a
famous fighter
you know
um what I like what I don’t like what
I’ll do it do again what I won’t do
um it’s it’s one of those things where I
notice where if
there’s a photo of me
it might go viral why I don’t know but
like just like a simple selfie with like
it went viral
it’s it’s
it’s just
me I am a very private person
you know I have a very small circle
um that I consider friends so anything
like personal life I just I think I’ll
still I’ll say to myself from here now
uh lesson learned yeah uh speaking of
your your circle I know you spoke on
Saturday about uh Gloria cahuto’s
passing uh Henry’s sister which is
heartbreaking and horrific and my my
heart and my condolences go out to his
family and I understand that she was
very close to you as well to get news
like that before such a big night for
you and obviously that pales in
comparison to anything sport related how
are you able to not allow those emotions
to affect you on Saturday
it’s hard it is
it uh it’s the hard Truth where you have
to be selfish
you know you have to be selfish and it
was one of those things where my team
kind of just let me be for a little bit
I processed everything
to the much that you know as much as I
possibly can and then
I had to just check in
like all right still work week fight
week Focus
be selfish right now and just focus on
this fight okay and I I think having
that one goal just that one thing to
just focus on really helped me out a lot
sometimes you hear from Fighters like
all I care about is Saturday everything
else I’ll deal with later
do you think this is one of those where
the reality will now hit you this week
because you were just compartmentalizing
everything for Saturday
absolutely where even
once everything happened
everything kind of just weight heavy on
you know and I I felt it and I was like
dang all right and I was actually gonna
stay in Vegas
longer than I should have but I came
straight home I’m home now I came
straight home and I texted uh Henry I
was like hey man like
go over tomorrow today just go hang out
with them be with be with the family for
a little bit
um did you watch the main event
foreign I didn’t I didn’t go to watch I
watched some highlights but I did see
that it was back and forth okay you
didn’t want I thought maybe you’d be
locked in I mean it’s very uh pertinent
to you
they it really was but they had me so
busy okay
they had me so busy in the back and then
when I finally did watch I just I was I
go wait I just want to see who won who
wins who wins and I saw that it was a
draw Alexis de champ
which was incredible good for her I saw
her in the back after she won gave her a
big hug you guys are cool
yeah yeah
um yeah not to the point where like if
it ever came you would you would fight
her for the belt right
if the
if it came yeah we would help how far
away do you think you are from that
honestly I don’t think I’m far
I mean I’m undefeated in the UFC I’m 5-0
I I don’t think I’m far but I just know
that there is
some girls I gotta get through before I
get there
you know I know there’s girls that have
been active and I’m not only
you know just going based off my record
but I’m also going based off the layoffs
and how act active other Fighters have
been in
um make sure they get their opportunity
because it that’s it’s it’s only right
right so in a perfect world for you
perhaps to make up for some lost time
when would you like to return
um we’re thinking early next year okay
next year hand is good yeah I got some
bruising yeah
I thought you were just I thought it was
just sunny in your house that’s all I
didn’t realize
the sodium
right but that being said uh early next
year that would be great uh do you have
someone in mind
no right now it was kind of just
no one in mind definitely in the top
rankings though you know I don’t I I
told my manager I don’t want to just
fight to fight anymore which is kind of
what I felt like I was doing I was just
accepting the fights like yeah I’ll
fight it let’s go you know now it’s okay
well what’s what fight
is the right fight to get me to the
uh we were before I let you go we were
um debating like what they should do
next should Valentina get a third crack
because it was a draw should they go
blanchfield Bureau
do you have a do you have a take on this
since it’s your weight class
I do believe she she deserves it
the the the third her third defensing
are shot but also it’s okay we have the
entire division SO waiting
to jump in for a lesson
I I I I think I think it’ll be fun for
the fans to see something new um
blackfield funeral
coming off the big one you have a win
over blanchfield so perhaps you get it
before blanchfield
all right we’ll see we’ll see what
happens uh by the way last thing on on
social media your name is Tracy Cortez
era I believe what do you on Twitter on
Twitter sorry yeah what are you saying
by that like this is your time this is
or does it mean something else
yeah no this is okay this is this is
yeah this is It’s Gonna Be My error I’m
Really Gonna
uh discipline and focus myself you know
these next this next year or two
climbing up to the rankings and getting
that title and you guys are going to see
not the world’s going to see a different
Tracy this year this year and next year
can’t wait uh looking forward to that
very much great to have you on the show
for the first time congratulations enjoy
everything that comes with the win again
my condolences on uh on the passing of
your very good friend and thanks for
making some time out hope you heal up
soon and we’ll see you back in there
thank you for having me okay there she
is Tracy Cortez massive win on Saturday
Jasmine Jazz divisius a good friend of
the program
thanks for watching we appreciate it
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