Since rising towards the top at 185 pounds, Strickland has turned up his outspoken personality. By turned up, we mean beyond the limit of arguably anyone else in the UFC, mixed martial arts, and let’s face it, Earth.
From the controversy surrounding some homophobic comments and some insults directed at Khalil Rountree Jr. to a spat with Jan Blachowicz over the Russian invasion of Ukraine and some bizarre remarks surrounding an apparent desire to kill, “Tarzan” hasn’t been afraid to transform his thoughts into words.
But one man who’s beginning to follow a similar path is Strickland’s fellow top-five middleweight Costa. While the Brazilian’s reputation was that of a brutal knockout artist prior to an unsuccessful 2020 title shot, he’s since established a presence on social media that’s become similarly controversial to Strickland’s own activity.
During a recent interview with Helen Yee, Strickland assessed “Borrachinha.” While he insisted that he’d have his hand raised against him in the Octagon, the 31-year-old appeared to suggest that Costa’s “demented” mind even outdoes his own.
“You know, I’m actually a big fan of Costa. He might be a borderline — he might be a little retarded, I’ll give him that, but I actually like (him),” said Strickland. “I’ve never met a man who says more offensive sh*t than me. So, Paulo, I’d beat you in a fight, but as far as your f*cking deluded, demented mind, I’m a fan of it.”
Costa’s newfound presence on social media has mostly involved the use of memes, which has even seen him launch a $2,000 meme competition.
But the Brazilian’s most recent posts have surrounded his alleged assault of a nurse in his home country. Last week, it was reported that Costa had elbowed a medical practitioner while attempting to obtain a COVID-19 vaccination card.
As well as using Better Call Saul and Jorge Masvidal‘s own legal troubles to make light of the situation on Twitter, Costa did release a serious video addressing the accusations, during which he denied assaulting the nurse and threatened legal action.
Who do you think is more controversial, Sean Strickland or Paulo Costa?