Paulo Costa responds to UFC 302 co-main event opponent Sean Strickland: “Great mistake”

Dana White announced three blockbuster fights in the post-fight press conference of UFC 300, one of which is a middleweight fight between Sean Strickland and Paulo Costa. Scheduled to be the co-main event of UFC 302 in Newark, New Jersey, headlined by Islam Makhachev and Dustin Poirier, the fight promises to be one for the age.

Initially, Strickland refused to fight Costa due to the low pay UFC offered him to face the Brazilian. However, he changed his mind after UFC presented a better deal. Following this, Strickland took to social media, confidently predicting a victory against the former title challenger. Costa amusingly took offense at Strickland’s recent YouTube video and responded via X.

“Great mistake boludo🔥🧃 jugo secreto,” Costa captioned his latest video tweet where he mentioned that he is half-Mexican and not Brazilian as Strickland said in the YouTube video.

After the official fight announcement, sportsbooks have Strickland as a favorite by more than -200, with Costa positioned as a +150 underdog. Given Strickland’s status as a former champion who lost the title via split decision, the favorite tag isn’t particularly controversial.

Moreover, Strickland outclassed Israel Adesanya, against whom Paulo Costa fought for the title only to be defeated by TKO in the second round. With Robert Whittaker and Khamzat Chimaev fighting in the main event of UFC Saudi Arabia for a number one contender fight, it remains to be seen how the result of Costa versus Strickland shakes up the division.

Sean Strickland on fighting Paulo Costa

In his recent fight, which was the main event of UFC 297, Sean Strickland lost the middleweight title to Dricus du Plessis by the closest of margins. The American felt that the judges robbed him of a victory against the South African fighter, creating controversies online on social media. UFC commentator Jon Anik even pondered retirement due to fan hate but ultimately changed his mind and apologized for the statement.

At UFC 298, Paulo Costa came close to finishing Robert Whittaker in the first round of their fight, which was the co-main event of the PPV. However, time ran out and Whittaker eked past with a decision, winning rounds two and three. That set up a fight with Sean Strickland at UFC 302, which at first did not look close to materializing but ultimately did, and Strickland had a message for fight fans.

“I like [Paulo] Costa. He’s a funny guy, he makes me laugh. He’s pro-free speech. I like that guy, but I’m going to make that dirty Brazilian bleed,” said Strickland on his YouTube video.

With Israel Adesanya and Dricus du Plessis rumored to headline UFC 305, per Sports Illustrated, in Perth for the middleweight, both Sean Strickland and Paulo Costa will be looking to make a statement victory at UFC 302 to leapfrog the winner of Chiamaev vs Whittaker.

Do you think Paulo Costa would defeat Sean Strickland at UFC 302? Leave your prediction below!


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