Sean Strickland turned down lowball offer to fight Paulo Costa at UFC 302: ‘It’s cut throat in here’

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Sean Strickland may be a former UFC champion, but he certainly isn’t being paid like one.

Middleweight contender Paulo Costa recently accused Strickland of turning down a fight with him at UFC 302 when the promotion returns to the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey on June 1.

“Two days ago, UFC come back and say, ‘Paulo, you fight Strickland on June 1,’” Costa said during an appearance on The Coach And The Casual. “It’s a great fight. It’s a fun fight, ]more] than Cannonier, I think.

“Unfortunately, I don’t know what happened,” Costa continued. “Strickland say, ‘No, he don’t want to fight me.’ Strickland, he refused to fight me, unfortunately. That’s what UFC told me. I just have this information from UFC. I think this fight would be great, I would love to fight him.”

I never say no … I say ‘How much’ lol,Strickland wrote on an Instagram, responding to Costa’s claim.

Sean Strickland Reveals the UFC’s Offer

Jumping social media platforms, ‘Tarzan’ took to X where he confirmed that he and the promotion were far apart when it comes to how much coin he would collect for a fight in The Garden State.

Just fighting the UFC about pay lol it will get sorted soon or it’s gonna get weird man!” he wrote when asked for a fight announcement.

Sean Strickland

Out of curiosity … what do you guys think I was offered to fight Costa on 7 weeks notice?” he asked his fans. “Base contract…..”

Sean Strickland

One person guessed $200,000 to show and $200,000 to win. Strickland replied, “Close, but less lol.”

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My man it’s cut throat in here,” he said to another fan who guessed $1 million. “99 percent of UFC fighters will never see a million their entire career.”

Sean Strickland

As a UFC champion, Sean Strickland may have very well cleared seven figures for his title fight with Dricus Du Plessis at UFC 297 in January. Now that he’s no longer champion, ‘Tarzan’ will only see the standard base pay + win bonus. Given his status as a top contender and likely one big win away from another shot at the belt, it’s understandable that Strickland would want to be more cautious about when he fights.