Paulo Costa staying with the UFC, aiming for fights against Strickland and Chimaev

It looks like ‘Borrachinha’ isn’t hitting the free agent market after all.

By: Kristen King | 11 months
Paulo Costa staying with the UFC, aiming for fights against Strickland and Chimaev
Paulo Costa at UFC Fight Night in 2020. | Jason da Silva / USA TODAY Network, IMAGO

Paulo Costa and the UFC have come to terms on a new four-fight contract.

The UFC middleweight thought he had completed his most recent deal following a unanimous decision against Luke Rockhold in a ‘Fight of the Night’ awarded appearance at UFC 278 this past August. Prior to the Rockhold fight, ‘Borrachinha’ expressed frustration over his pay, revealing that it stayed the same since signing with the promotion nearly five years ago.

As it turned out he still had one fight left, a bout the UFC tried to make against Robert Whittaker at UFC 284 earlier this year. Costa ended up turning that fight down, however, dubbing the fight ‘fake news’ shortly after it was announced. Seemingly intent on staying sidelined until he got a new contract or secured his release, fans have been waiting for months to find out what Costa’s next move would be.

That is, up until now, at least. Costa recently revealed that he and the UFC have officially agreed to a new deal—one that he expects to sign soon. He credits the success to his manager (and girlfriend) Tamara Alves.

“I haven’t signed the contract yet but we have reached a deal with the UFC regarding the pay,” said Costa in an interview with Brazilian outlet PVT (H/T Guilherme Cruz of MMA Fighting). “It wasn’t easy, there was a lot of hard work, and I have to highlight Tamara’s brilliant work here.”

With a new contract, Costa also revealed that he was offered two fighters for his next fight. The 31-year-old has either Sean Strickland in May or Khamzat Chimaev in October.

“I want that, too,” said Costa. “[The UFC] wants to make sure this Chimaev fight happen at all costs, but I want to make both happen. We’ll see.”

Costa and Chimaev had a run-in at the UFC Performance Institute, where ‘Borz’ was preparing for his first headliner against Nate Diaz at UFC 279 in September. Though a few words were exchanged, neither fighter got physical, but it appears as though they could have a chance to do so in the near future.

As for Strickland, he slammed Costa for not fighting due to his pay dispute with the UFC. Now that it is over, ‘Tarzan’ could get Costa as an opponent next.

Costa is 6-2 in the UFC, with this only losses coming to Israel Adesanya and Marvin Vettori.


About the author: Kristen King is a writer for Bloody Elbow. She has covered combat sports since 2016. (full bio)


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About the author
Kristen King
Kristen King

Kristen King is a writer for Bloody Elbow. She has covered combat sports since 2016, getting her start with outlets such as FanSided, MyMMANews and MMA-Prospects. She joined the BE team in 2020, covering a mix of news, events and injuries. In her time with BE, Kristen has created ‘Fright of the Night,’ a series that highlights some of the worst injuries in the sport.

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