Sean Strickland has a name in mind for his next opponent.
The Middleweight division has been opened up after Alex Pereira’s successful title win at UFC 281 in Nov. 2022. Assuming the champion remains on top through his upcoming rematch with Israel Adesanya at UFC 287 on April 8, 2023, there are plenty of fresh match ups to make.
Strickland, 31, is no stranger to the Brazilian knockout artist, however, having fought in their July 2022 title eliminator bout. The American suffered defeat via a tough first-round knockout loss (watch highlights) before losing a split decision against Jared Cannoier to close out the year. “Tarzan” just recently rebounded with a unanimous decision win over Nassourdine Imavov on short notice at Light Heavyweight and now has his sights on the No. 6-ranked Paulo Costa.
“I think me and @borrachinhamma should do the man dance?” Strickland wrote on Instagram. “I’ll even buy the wine..... What do you all think?
“Yo, Costa, I think we should fight, bro,” he added in an attached video. “It f—king makes sense, you know. I don’t know if you’ll be drunk or be able to make weight, eating cookies — let’s make this s—t happen.”
Next weekend (Sat., Feb. 11, 2023) at UFC 284 in Perth, Australia was supposed to be the next appearance for Brazil’s “Borrachinha.” Unfortunately for fans and Robert Whittaker, Costa never came to an agreement on a newly desired fight contract, leading to the bout’s dissolution.
Like the No. 7-ranked Strickland, Costa also found himself on a losing streak recently after encounters with the aforementioned Adesanya as well as Strickland’s friend and teammate, Marvin Vettori. In Aug. 2022, Costa got back in the win column with an entertaining unanimous decision win over former champion, Luke Rockhold (watch highlights).
Is Strickland vs. Costa the fight to make?
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