Currently embroiled in a contract dispute with the UFC, one-time middleweight title challenger, Paulo Costa has questioned if the organization purposely field low financial pursues and offers to fighters from Brazil, following the cancellation of his planned February fight with Robert Whittaker.
Costa, a native of Belo Horizonte, was expected to make his Octagon return at UFC 284 in February of next year in Perth, Australia – with a matchup against former undisputed champion, Whittaker previously announced by the promotion.
However, in recent weeks, Costa, who retains just a single fight on his current, has insisted he would not be fighting Whittaker next year, claiming he had not signed a bout agreement to face the former titleholder, as he argues with the UFC regarding the notorious issue of fighter pay.
Reports earlier this week confirmed how Costa and Whittaker would not be fighting at UFC 284 in February, with the former currently embroiled in a contract dispute with the Dana White-led promotion.
Paulo Costa is currently involved in a contract dispute with the UFC
Sharing his thoughts on the failed fight with Whittaker, Costa revealed the promotion offered him a new six-fight deal when he requested more money to fight the former, before questioning if the UFC purposely offer lower financial compensation to fighters from Brazil.
“I think they (the UFC) actually offer very low numbers for Brazilians,” Paulo Costa told Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour. “Maybe they think, ‘Ah, there mf’ers live in Brazil in the jungle, they don’t need real money because the currency is like 5 times less than dollars, so let’s pay bullsh*t.’”
“The mentality of Brazilians is, ‘OK, I agree, let’s do [it],’” Paulo Costa explained. “I did that. And I know the Brazilians do that a lot. … But this is horrible for the business.”
Furthermore, Costa admitted that he was still open to fighting Whittaker in the new year, however, urged UFC Chief Business Officer, Hunter Campbell to make him a better offer to secure a March matchup.
“[There’s] an easy way to make this fight happen,” Paulo Costa said. “I can fight in March. Hey, Hunter [Campbell], if you want that fight, if you want me to fight Whittaker, just send a contract with fair numbers.” (Transcribed by Shaheen Al-Shatti)
With the Brazilian’s most recent purse disclosed, Costa secured a $65,000 show purse, and a further $65,000 win bonus for his UFC 278 unanimous decision win over former champion, Luke Rockhold in Salt Lake City, Utah.