Paulo Costa Out? Sean Strickland Urges Contender to ‘Sack Up’ and Sign UFC 302 Contract

Strickland delivered a whole lot of F-bombs to Costa upon finding out "The Eraser" might've not fulfilled his end of their fight agreement.
Feb 17, 2024; Anaheim, California, USA; Paulo Costa reacts following the match against Robert
Feb 17, 2024; Anaheim, California, USA; Paulo Costa reacts following the match against Robert / Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Sean Strickland's next fight may be in jeopardy.

In the aftermath of UFC 300, CEO Dana White announced that former middleweight champion Strickland would make his return against Paulo Costa in the co-main event of UFC 302 on June 1st. But, it looks like there's more to the matchup than meets the eye.

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With several weeks of training camp behind him and even more to go, Strickland has questioned the legitimacy of his fight with Costa and whether it's really on. On Wednesday, Strickland spoke on rumors regarding Costa not having signed his official bout agreement just yet for UFC 302.

"Goddamn Costa. I've heard you have yet to sign that contract and I'll tell you what, man, I didn't f****** believe it," Strickland said in a video posted to Instagram. "I did not think you'd be acting like a coward. I thought you would man up, sack up but instead, you're acting like you got f****** ovaries.

"So I went on the Google. I did the right things, give you the benefit of the doubt. I went on the 'Googler' and I noticed something. Man, after you fought Izzy [Adesanya], you went downhill. You went off that f****** deep end, my man. I don't know what happened in that little f****** pee brain you had. Well, do we need to get someone for you to talk to my man? Do we need to sit you down, have you talk about your f****** feelings? I think therapy's for weak men. But lemme tell you something, dude. You're being a weak f****** man. If you can't sack up and make this s*** happen, we'll get someone for you to talk to. Don't disappoint me and don't disappoint the fans. Let me make you f****** bleed."

If Costa didn't sign his contract for UFC 302 as Strickland suggests, it wouldn't be the first time for the former title challenger. In 2022, the UFC had prematurely announced Costa vs. Robert Whittaker for UFC 284 and it never came to be as Costa didn't reach a deal with the promotion after negotiations.

Eventually, Costa would re-sign with the UFC and finally faced off with Whittaker at UFC 298. Similar to Sean Strickland, Whittaker also had his doubts on whether or not Costa would actually show up to their fight.

Paulo Costa hasn't been too active in the Octagon and outside of 2023, "The Eraser" has fought just once every year for the last seven years. A fight against Strickland would certainly change that, but we'll have to wait and see if it happens.

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Sean Strickland on the other hand is coming off a title loss to Dricus du Plessis at UFC 297. The American was very outspoken in his campaign for an immediate rematch with du Plessis after their closely-contested split decision verdict but he'll settle for a top contender in Costa to help make his case undeniable when it comes to title contention.

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Christopher De Santiago


Christopher De Santiago is a 22 year-old journalist from Gainesville, Texas with years of experience covering MMA.