Middleweight contender Paulo Costa is on the verge of a new four-fight deal with the UFC. Costa’s new deal also comes with the news he’ll have some intriguing fights.
When we last saw Costa, he turned away the spirited challenge of ex-champ Luke Rockhold at UFC 278. At that time, Costa’s contract was up, and refused to accept any fights without a new contract. This led to the drama that unfolded at UFC 284, where the UFC prematurely announced a fight between him and Robert Whittaker.
In the months leading up to the non-fight, Costa made it a point that he wouldn’t fight without a new contract. Ultimately, the bout with Whittaker never happened with the UFC withdrawing the fight a month before the event.
During the negotiations, Costa made it clear that he wasn’t going to be confined to a bad deal. He opined to try new promotions or even professional boxing. It does look like cooler heads prevailed, and Costa will fight in a few months.
The Brazilian bruiser is intending on making up for the lost time. He already has two top fighters in his sights.
Paulo Costa wants Sean Strickland and Khamzat Chimaev
Two fighters who took issue with Costa’s handling of his contract situation might be his next opponents.
Sean Strickland, as he’s known to do, had some pointed statements toward Costa in February:
“Costa’s a funny motherf*cker. He’s kind of dumb, and that says a lot coming from this f*cking guy. But he’s a funny motherf*cker, but I’m going to put him on his knees and f*ck him like Izzy (Adesanya).
Khamzat Chimaev claimed Costa avoided a fight with him. This likely occurred while Costa was hammering out the details for his contract, not taking any fights at all. Then again, Chimaev believes nobody from the UFC wants to fight him at this point.
The middleweight hopes to get both at some point, saying:
“(The UFC) wants to make sure this Chimaev fight happens at all costs, but I want to make both happen.”