Randy Costa was surprisingly calm before walking out to his first amateur fight. It was also his first fistfight, period. Although the 19-year-old from Taunton, Mass., had been training at Lauzon MMA for the past three years, this was the first time it would just be him and another man locked in the cage with a referee.

His teammates and coaches had been asking him for a while when he was going to get in there and compete. Costa just never felt ready. Then, one day, there was a short-notice opportunity to step in and finally make his amateur MMA debut. Costa figured it was time to sack up.

He had two weeks to drop to 135 pounds. Well, there’s a first time for everything. Everything went smoothly. Perhaps it was because it was all so rushed, but Costa felt an unexpected serenity on the day of the fight.

“It was weird,” said Costa to The MMA Corner. “I had really no nerves. It was a regular day. I went out to breakfast. I was just hanging. My parents were asking why I was so relaxed. I’m about to get in my first fight ever, and it never really hit me until I started walking out.”

At Cage Titans 18, the Plymouth Memorial Hall erupted. Costa tried to stay focused and keep a straight face. There would be time to celebrate later, but that was only if he stuck to his game plan and listened to the coaches. Right then, all he could hear was over 70 of his family and friends in the stands.

“I walked out, and they were just roaring,” recalled Costa. “I just remember thinking, ‘I am not losing in front of all my friends.’”

The fighters were announced, the referee checked that the judges were ready, and the cage door was locked. It was like the moment when the roller coaster pauses for a brief second after climbing all the way up for the initial plunge. No backing out now.

It didn’t take long before it was over. In just 35 seconds, Costa found himself being pulled off Ryan Pompeii. He had won by TKO and earned “Knockout of the Night” honors. Okay, now he could celebrate.

“I wouldn’t say it was easy, because it’s a fight,” Costa admitted. “I could get hit with one shot and I could be gone, but I did expect that I was going to be dominant. I was much bigger for the weight class, but I never think that I’m going to go out there and knock someone out in 35 seconds. I’ll never think that.”

Costa, being the modest person that he is, attributes the success largely to his teammates and coaches at Lauzon MMA. What started as a way to stay in shape during the football offseason quickly grew into one of his passions.

“I was looking at gyms around here, and obviously Lauzon’s has that name, so I want to be good at the ground. I already had a little bit of kickboxing, so I might as well explore and see what I can do,” said Costa.

Over the following three years, Costa not only found a great workout, but also a great group of friends at the gym. He is very proud to be representing the Lauzon name when he’s competing.

“It’s awesome, because he’s competing at the highest level,” said Costa of his coach, UFC fighter Joe Lauzon. “So if he tells you you’re ready to fight, he knows that you’re actually ready.

“He’s a tough bastard. He’s doing it for the entertainment. He’s doing it because he’s going to be the toughest one in there. Win, lose or draw, he’s always going to be my coach. I’m always going to look up to him.”

Though he has dreams of one day competing in the UFC, Costa realizes that he should have a good backup plan since realistically there are thousands of others who would also like to achieve that dream. He is currently close to earning his college degree, and he is considering trying to join the Navy SEALS after that.

“I’m going to take each day as it comes,” said Costa, who returns to action on June 21 at Cage Titans 19. “I don’t like to worry about things. If the fighting thing works out, fantastic. If not, then I have the Navy. If not, then I have a degree to fall back on, too.”

“I’m too young to be worried about things,” he joked.

With Costa’s mature viewpoint on life, much like his mentor Lauzon when he was younger, it’s easy to forget that Costa is only 19 years old. Whatever the future has in store for him, as long as he keeps approaching his challenges with determination and modesty, he’ll more than likely end up doing just fine.

About The Author

Zach Miller
Staff Writer

Zach is a Boston native and has had a fascination with martial arts since playing Mortal Kombat at five years old. He was introduced to MMA after watching The Ultimate Fighter 5: Team Pulver vs. Team Penn. A recent graduate of the University of New Hampshire, Zach seeks to one day become a full-time MMA journalist. In addition to watching the sport, he has also trained in Brazillian Jiu-Jitsu, kickboxing, and tae kwon do. Zach has also written for NortheastMMA.