UFC middleweight contender, Paulo Costa has claimed that whilst fans are clamoring for his return to the Octagon, he won’t make a comeback to the “big shows” if he’s still getting paid the same fight purse as fighters who aren’t ranked.
Costa’s claims follow the recent reports that emerged, which detailed that how the Brazilian has withdrawn from a planned UFC Fight Night headliner on August 21st. against Jared Cannonier, however, Costa was quick to shoot down those reports, detailing how he had never actually signed to fight the Texan, and voiced his displeasure with the fact that YouTubers can make significantly larger paychecks in both professional and exhibition boxing matches, compared to mixed martial artists.
Most recently featuring at UFC 253 on ‘Fight Island’ last September, Costa headlined the pay-per-view event against Israel Adesanya in a bid to claim the undisputed middleweight championship. Suffering his first professional defeat, the Belo Horizonte native suffered a damaging, one-sided second round knockout defeat to City Kickboxing mainstay, Adesanya.
Booked for his promotional return at UFC Vegas 24 in April against former champion, Robert Whittaker, Costa was replaced by former interim title chaser, Kelvin Gastelum on short notice, as he dealt with severe flu. Removed from the bout, as a result, Costa remained on the sidelines, and Gastelum is now expected to meet with the above-mentioned, Cannonier in August to boot.
Responding to Costa’s claims that he had never signed an official bout agreement to meet with Cannonier, UFC president, Dana White explained how he believes the Brazilain did, in fact, sign to meet with the latter, before claiming Costa should’ve started his own YouTube channel when he was 13-years-old if he wanted to be involved in those type of matchups as both Jake and Logan Paul.
“I don’t think that’s true, I think he did sign (to fight Cannonier) because we extended him — we extended his contract, for turning down the fight,” White said. “But, listen, don’t fight. I have to offer you three fights a year, this is my situation with all these guys. I offer you three fights a year — he doesn’t have to fight, no problem, don’t fight.“
“Guess what, you (Paulo Costa) should have started a YouTube channel when you were f*cking 13-years-old and built your name up and everything else. You could have had the fight on Saturday (Sunday) night (Floyd Mayweather vs. Logan Paul) but you didn’t, you’re not a f*cking YouTuber, you’re a fighter, and this is what you do for a living — or you don’t. It’s up to you.“
White then stressed that off the back of his “ridiculous” and “horrible” performance against the aforenoted, Adesanya, Costa was currently not in a position to talk about “crazy money“.
“You’re (Costa) in no position to be talking about crazy money after your last performance, okay?” White continued. “So, you either want to fight or you don’t want to fight. No problem, you don’t wanna fight, you can hang out and do whatever you want. When you’re ready, you let me know.“
Offering his support to Costa, the aforementioned, Cannonier explained that someone needs to step forward in an attempt to help fighters score a higher percentage of the revenue they create. And that fighter pay is a common issue amongst fighters in circles.
“Well, I don’t know how much he’s (Paulo Costa) is getting paid per fight,” Cannonier said during a recent interview with Submission Radio. “MMA fighters, UFC fighters, MMA in general, fighters don’t get paid as much in comparison to the organizations or the promotions are getting paid. So, yeah, I mean, I understand the argument. I can’t hate on him or knock him or chastise him for having his stance. It’s a very bold stance to say, ‘I’m not gonna fight unless you guys pay me some more money.’ But, yeah, someone’s gotta fight for us fighters to get paid more.“
Providing somewhat of an update on his current situation, Costa explained how he was still training, but how it doesn’t make sense for him to compete on “big shows” if he’s still receiving the same paycheck as fighters who are currently unranked.
“Many amazing fans of MMA comes to me in multiple places and saying; ‘We hope to see you fighting soon when are you come (sic) back?’” Costa posted on Twitter. “I really feels (sic) bad for them. Unfortunately, I won’t make bigs (sic) show to get [the] same payment as unranked fighters. No makes (sic) sense. After all I still (sic) training and sharp (sic).“