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  • Paulo Costa Says Sean Strickland Ducked Him For UFC ; Former Middleweight Champion Responds

Paulo Costa says Sean Strickland ducked him for UFC 302; former middleweight champion responds

UFC middleweight Paulo Costa revealed he was proposed a fight with Sean Strickland for UFC 302 in June.

The 32-year-old was last in action back in February when he lost a unanimous decision against Robert Whittaker at UFC 298.

Speaking to The Coach and The Casual, the Brazilian revealed he was given two options for his next outing - Jared Cannonier and Sean Strickland.

The former middleweight title challenger was excited about the prospect of facing Cannonier – a former title contender in his own right.

“I love the idea of fighting Cannonier, and [UFC] suggested I fight in June,” Costa revealed.

“But then, the UFC came back and said, ‘Paulo, you fight Sean Strickland on June 1. It’s a great fight. It’s a fun fight, even more fun that Cannonier, I think.

“Unfortunately, I don’t know what happened – Strickland said no. Strickland refused to fight me. That’s what the UFC told me. I just have this information from the UFC. I think the fight would be great. I would love to fight him.”

Strickland took to social media to offer his response. The former middleweight champion shared Costa’s quotes on Instagram, saying: “I never say no… I say ‘how much’ lol.”

The 33-year-old defeated Israel Adesanya to claim the middleweight crown back in September but was unable to defend his belt at UFC 297 when he lost to Dricus du Plessis.

It’s unclear what the next step for Stickland is, with many pondering a possible rematch for the middleweight championship.

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