UFC 302: Sean Strickland Dominates Paulo Costa in Newark

“Strickland’s relentless pressure overwhelms Costa.”

Sean Strickland showcased a dominant performance, pressing forward and wearing down Paulo Costa at UFC 302 in Newark.

A Tactical Display from Strickland

The middleweight clash between Sean Strickland and Paulo Costa served as the co-main event of the evening. Instead of the anticipated explosive bout, Strickland delivered a methodical display over five rounds. From the onset, Strickland applied relentless pressure, dictating the pace and rhythm of the fight.

Costa had his moments, particularly with effective leg kicks, but struggled to keep up with Strickland’s constant forward movement. Strickland’s volume striking and defensive prowess kept Costa at bay, highlighting his tactical superiority.

Judges Disagree on the Outcome

As the fight progressed, Costa’s energy waned, and Strickland maintained a high output of jabs and body kicks. While Costa landed occasional significant shots, they were too sporadic to turn the tide.

After five rounds, the judges were split in their decision. Two judges scored the fight in favor of Strickland, while the third judge controversially awarded Costa four rounds. Despite this surprising decision, Strickland emerged victorious via split decision with scores of 46–49, 50–45, and 49–46. This win marked Strickland’s return to the win column after losing his title to Dricus Du Plessis in his previous fight.


UFC 302 Main Card Results

  • Lightweight Title Fight: Islam Makhachev (c) def. Dustin Poirier
  • Middleweight: Sean Strickland def. Paulo Costa via split decision (46–49, 50–45, 49–46)
  • Middleweight: Kevin Holland def. Michal Oleksiejczuk via submission (armbar) – Round 1, 1:34
  • Welterweight: Niko Price def. Alex Morono via unanimous decision (29–28, 29–28, 29–28)
  • Welterweight: Randy Brown def. Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos via unanimous decision (29–28, 29–28, 29–28)

Prelim Results

  • Middleweight: Roman Kopylov def. Cesar Almeida via split decision (29–28, 28–29, 30–27)
  • Heavyweight: Jailton Almeida def. Alexandr Romanov via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 1, 2:27
  • Lightweight: Grant Dawson def. Joe Solecki via unanimous decision (29–28, 30–27, 30–27)
  • Welterweight: Jake Matthews def. Phil Rowe via unanimous decision (29–28, 29–28, 30–27)

Early Prelims

  • Welterweight: Bassil Hafez def. Mickey Gall via unanimous decision (30–27, 30–27, 29–28)
  • Women’s Bantamweight: Ailin Perez def. Joselyne Edwards via unanimous decision (30–27, 29–28, 29–28)
  • Catchweight (130 lbs): Andre Lima def. Nyamjargal Tumendemberel via split decision (30–27, 28–29, 30–27)

For more detailed coverage and insights, visit UFC, Sherdog, and MMA Fighting.

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