Paulo Costa makes ‘more than a million dollars per fight’ in new UFC deal, claims manager

Paulo Costa’s manager claims the ‘Borrachinha’ is now the most well-paid Brazilian in the UFC.

By: Lucas Rezende | 11 months
Paulo Costa makes ‘more than a million dollars per fight’ in new UFC deal, claims manager
Paulo Costa celebrates his victory against Luke Rockhold at UFC 278. | Jeffrey Swinger / USA TODAY Network, IMAGO

UFC middleweight Paulo Costa has yet to sign his new UFC contract, but seems quite satisfied with the agreement. After months of deliberation between ‘Borrachinha’ and the promotion, news that both parties have found a consensus emerged this week, though no talks of figures had been announced until now.

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In an interview with Ag Fight, Costa’s new manager Tamara Alves was eager to reveal what she had been to accomplish for her athlete. Though she did not say an exact figure, the manager assured the journalists that Paulo will become the highest paid Brazilian fighter in the UFC once the contract is signed.

“Paulo is has gone from one of the UFC’s most undervalued athletes to one of its most valued ones. I’m sure, with no doubt, that Paulo is the most well-paid Brazilian within the promotion. Do you know any fighters who make more than a million dollars per fight? Because I don’t. Especially for non-title fights. The UFC knows that Paulo’s product sells. Paulo’s PPV against Adesanya was the most sold one in the middleweight division. The UFC has these numbers. The UFC knows the numbers Paulo can reach.”

In the same interview, Paulo himself joined the conversation later to explain how himself and Alves were able to reach a satisfactory deal with the UFC. Although it required a lot of effort and research in order to make their case, Costa says in the end the work proved to be worth it once the company decided to pay Borrachinha a figure he deemed appropriate.

“First of all, an athlete must sell. They have to show the company results. Then you have to learn how much of that can turn into a financial figure that can be returned to the athlete. I think that was her biggest insight, alongside the team she put together. We had all these productive meetings where we able to quantify these numbers into real metrics. When we put that on the table during our negotiations, the UFC didn’t have much of an argument,”

“It was reported that I had received a 500 thousand dollar proposal and people thought it was that much for six fights,” Paulo said. “But the UFC had offered me the 500 to show and 150 more if I won. We turned that down. Once we had the data, we knew our potential was much more than that, even if I went to fight outside of the UFC. The UFC uses its whole media machine in their negotiations, to make their product more valuable. However, they don’t use it in your favor. You have to do that yourself. We turned down the first proposal and sent a counterproposal. From there we got to the figure we really wished for.”

In his last outing, Costa (14-2) defeated former champion Luke Rockhold via unanimous decision. The win snapped a two-fight losing skid for the 31-year-old, who suffered consecutive losses to Israel Adesanya and Marvin Vettori.


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

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About the author
Lucas Rezende
Lucas Rezende

Lucas Rezende is a Brazilian journalist and writer from Belem, Para. He has been covering MMA since 2012 and contributing with Bloody Elbow since March 2015. When not writing, Lucas also teaches English. In his free time, he enjoys reading, slapping the bass guitar and traveling.

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