UFC middleweight Sean Strickland says that the UFC denied him the chance “beat the sh*t” out of Paulo Costa in an upcoming middleweight fight.
Strickland is currently tied for the No. 4 spot in the UFC’s official middleweight rankings. He is tied with both Costa and Derek Brunson, so it made sense that Strickland would fight one of these two men given they are both unbooked and ranked similarly to Strickland on his path to a title shot. Instead, the UFC surprised fans when it was revealed that Strickland is fighting the unranked Alex Pereira at UFC 277 this summer instead.
Although Pereira is an incredible striker who holds a KO win over current UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya in kickboxing, he’s only 2-0 in MMA and not even ranked. That’s why it was a bit of a surprise the UFC booked this matchup, even though it’s a very fun stylistic matchup between two strikers on paper. Given Pereira is unranked, it’s understandable why he wasn’t Strickland’s first choice for his next opponent. Speaking to told The Schmo in a recent interview, Strickland said he wanted to fight Costa next instead, but the UFC refused to book the fight. Costa is coming off of a decision loss to Marvin Vettori in what was a spirited light heavyweight fight. Despite being one of the top-five ranked middleweights, the UFC apparently didn’t like the matchup.
“Costa, just so you know, just so you can stop running your f*cking mouth, I watched you fight Marvin, I would walk through you,” Strickland said (h/t MMAMania.com). “I called you out multiple times before anything. UFC said, ‘f*ck no.’ Meaning, I’m gonna beat the sh*t out of you, they don’t want me to fight you. That’s what happened, I will show you the messages of them saying no I can’t fight you. So Costa, go f*ck yourself, and if I see you in Vegas and you want to run this sh*t back, anytime you f*cking want it, dude. Let’s f*cking go, man. You don’t even have to make weight, you little p*ssy.”
Do you think the UFC made the right call booking Sean Strickland against Alex Pereira or should he have fought Paulo Costa instead?
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