A fight between Strickland and Costa has some logic on paper. They are currently deadlocked at the #4 spot in the UFC rankings, and neither man is expected to receive a title shot at Israel Adesanya next, due to Jared Cannonier being most likely to fill that role.
Additionally, Robert Whittaker (#1) and Marvin Vettori (#3) are unavailable after being targeted to fight one another. So with Strickland and Costa both available, what’s stopping the two of them from being paired together?
According to Sean Strickland, the UFC itself is stopping it.
This claim comes after Costa called out Strickland in a re-tweet of an article from last November where Strickland requested the same fight.
“Let’s do it rat. Veremos se é valentão mesmo,” Costa wrote.
“I asked for Costa and the UFC didn’t seem so confident in his future.. Also i dont think they liked me punching down to get a title shot lol.. but worst case for you Costa there is always bellator.. Maybe 205? Idk…” Strickland responded.
“@BorrachinhaMMA heres the thing man. The UFC said no. I asked multiple times….. But after your forced to move to light heavyweight I’ll catch you in Vegas and if you wanna run your mouth I’ll give it to you for free…” he wrote in a follow-up tweet directed at Costa himself.
Although Paulo Costa insists that he will remain in the middleweight division, as Strickland alludes to, this is still unconfirmed after Dana White publicly stated the Brazilian will need to move up to light heavyweight following the weight-related debacle ahead of his fight against Marvin Vettori last October.
Additionally, even though both fighters are tied at #4, Strickland’s “punching down” comment is likely in reference to the American being on a six-fight winning streak while Costa has lost two straight.
In any event, Costa clearly isn’t buying what Strickland is pushing out based on the following response to Strickland’s revelation.
“I knew you were a fuc*king pus*y but this show of insecurity surprised even me. just another fake macho,” Costa responded.
When Strickland and Costa have their next fight booked, against one another or otherwise, or if the two simply decide to ramp up this new Twitter beef instead, MMA News will be here to keep you covered with all the latest.
Do you think Sean Strickland vs. Paulo Costa is the fight to make right now?