UFC 302: Costa Claims Strickland Declined Fight

"Costa vs Strickland: A Fight That Could've Been"

Costa Ready for Action

Popular fighter Paulo Costa expressed his eagerness for his next battle, revealing a declined offer by former UFC champion Sean Strickland. In an engaging discussion on The Coach and The Casual, Costa mentioned an initial proposition to face the fourth-ranked Jared Cannonier. However, his preference shifted towards Strickland upon hearing the possibility. The targeted event is UFC 302, set to captivate audiences in Newark, USA, on June 1st.

A Preferred Match-Up

“I adore the thought of clashing with Cannonier, and UFC’s June proposal was appealing,” Costa shared. But excitement surged when UFC hinted at a Strickland match. “It’s a thrilling match-up, even more enticing than facing Cannonier, in my opinion.”


Strickland’s Surprising Refusal

Despite the promising setup, Strickland’s response was unexpected. “Sadly, I’m not sure what occurred, but Strickland declined the match. This was the information from UFC. I believe it would have been an incredible fight. I was looking forward to facing him.”

Strickland Responds

Strickland swiftly addressed Costa’s remarks on Instagram, humorously noting, “I never say no, I just ask ‘How much?’ LOL.” His focus remains on a rematch with Dricus du Plessis, who dethroned him in January via a split decision.


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Title Implications

With the middleweight title potentially facing Adesanya next, Strickland might have to bide his time for a title shot. The upcoming bout between Khamzat Chimaev and Robert Whittaker in June could further complicate the title picture. Costa, having previously vied for the title against Adesanya in September 2020, needs additional victories to reclaim his contender status.

A High-Stakes Middleweight Showdown

A Costa vs Strickland match would significantly amplify the middleweight division’s competition, already brimming with challengers. This bout could reshape the division’s landscape, providing both fighters a chance to assert their dominance.



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