Paulo Costa Casts Doubt on Upcoming UFC Fight With Robert Whittaker

Paulo Costa

Getty Paulo Costa

According to middleweight bruiser Paulo Costa, he hasn’t received a contract to fight Robert Whittaker at UFC 284 on February 11.

Even though the promotion announced on October 20 that the 185-pound clash would go down in Perth, Australia, Costa told Submission Radio that he still hadn’t officially signed on the dotted line to compete in the bout.

“This fight is one of my favorite fights that I wanted to make because I appreciate the fighter that Robert is,” Costa said. “He’s very good. Since I saw him fight, I thought, I want to fight this guy because he’s savage. You know, he put a lot of desire in his fights. So, it should be a great fight, and I’d love to make that fight. It’s one of my favorite fights to make, of course. But I don’t have any deal to do this fight. This is the bad part. I want to do this fight, but I don’t have a deal.

“UFC didn’t send me nothing — no contract, no offer yet. You know, It’s a weird situation. I don’t know what’s going on with UFC. Because you guys know, UFC used to publish some fights when the fight is close, when the deal is on.

“But it’s not in this case. They asked me about Robert, if I should fight him. I said, yes, of course. It’ll be a pleasure to fight him. But they didn’t send any offer to fight him yet.”

Costa Said He Only Has 1 Fight Left on His Current UFC Contract, Wants More Money Before Battling Whittaker

Whittaker is currently ranked No. 2 in the middleweight division and Costa resides in the No. 6 spot. With both men coming off a win, the winner of their potential affair could be set up for a title fight.

But another shot at gold isn’t enough of an incentive for Costa to battle “The Reaper.” He told the outlet that he only had one match left on his UFC contract and that he wanted to sign a new deal — which included more money — before agreeing to meet Whittaker in Australia.

“Borrachinha” said that he spoke with the promotion’s chief business officer, Hunter Campbell, about his new UFC contract.

“I want to know what happened,” Costa said. “I have spoken with Hunter some weeks ago — I think one week or two weeks ago — about my terms, my contract, not to fight Whittaker yet, but just because I have one fight more to fight to compete in UFC. And we just agreed my payment [was] so low. I’ve got this same payment since 2017. So, it’s crazy. And I have fight the top five guys and I get money as a beginner, you know? So, he agreed. He said, ‘Yeah, it’s totally out of date – we need to update this.’

“But after that, they announced that fight against Robert. But I didn’t see any contract in my mail, on my table. I have nothing yet. I’m just waiting for Hunter to make his offer because he said, ‘OK, we’ll make another offer and you see what you think about.’ You understand? I cannot still fight for free, bro. The time for fight for free has gone. I love MMA, but I cannot just fight for love. I have bills to pay.”

Costa Is Willing to Wait for 2 Months Before the Whittaker Fight Before Pulling the Plug

Costa will continue training like he’s going to be fighting the former UFC middleweight champion on February 12. But if he doesn’t receive a new contract by December 12 — two months before the contest — he’ll pull the plug on the scrap.

“I really want to fight him,” Costa said. “But, it needs to be a fair deal, you understand?”

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