Despite reports that Paulo Costa has been booked to fight Robert Whittaker at UFC 284, ‘The Eraser’ says it isn’t quite a done deal.
The one-time title contender spoke with Kacper Rosolowski and Denis Shkuratov of Submission Radio to discuss the upcoming bout. It was then that Costa revealed he very much wanted to meet ‘The Reaper’ in Australia this February, but the UFC has neglected to work with him on a new contract.
Still fighting under the “miserable” deal that he signed in 2017, Paulo Costa is on the last fight of his contract and has had no negotiations with the promotion despite being scheduled for a fight less than three months away.
“This fight is one of my favorite fights I want to make,” said Costa. “I appreciate the fighter that Robert is. He’s very good, you know. Since I saw him fight I thought, ‘I want to fight this guy’ because he’s a savage. He put a lot of desire in his fights so it should be a great fight and I’d love to make the fight. He’s one of my favorite fights to make, 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 [anything]. No contract. No offer yet. It’s a weird situation. I don’t know what’s going on with UFC.”
As far as what the holdup is, Paulo Costa is unsure. However, he did reveal in his interview that he had spoken to Hunter Campbell, the UFC’s Chief Business Officer, to discuss his pay scale which, according to Costa, has not been raised since 2017.
“I’m at UFC [Performance Institute] right now. I asked the PR woman. She basically works in Brazil. She said, ‘Paul, I don’t know what’s going on. They don’t use to do that, but they do this with you twice already.’ I don’t know. I want to know what happened. I have spoken with Hunter [Campbell] some weeks ago about my terms, my contract. Not to fight with yet, but because I have one fight more to compete in UFC and we just agreed my payment is so low. I have gotten the same payment since 2017 and I have fought the top five guys and I’m getting money as a beginner.”
Costa did confirm that unless the UFC comes with a “fair deal,” he will most likely turn down the proposed fight with Robert Whittaker that is expected for this February. Costa also revealed that in order for him to feel comfortable accepting a fight with Whittaker, he will need a new and more favorable contract at least two months before fight night. With UFC 284 taking place on February 11th, that gives the promotion roughly four weeks to work out a deal before it’s too late.
Paulo Costa is Entertaining the Idea of Other Opportunities Outside of the UFC
With the explosion of MMA and the popularity of mixed martial artists testing their skills in the boxing ring, professional fighters now have a plethora of options should the UFC no longer present the opportunity that it once had. Paulo Costa will still wait for the UFC to come up with a new and more reasonable contract based on his wants and needs, but he is more than open to looking elsewhere to make the most money with the time he has left in combat sports.
“UFC is a very good company. It’s the biggest one of MMA. It depends. It depends on the terms. We can see a lot of good opportunities in fight sports. We have boxing, Boxing is a great thing going on right now. A lot of big names so this makes a lot of sense to me. MMA is so hard. You need to train a lot. I use to train six hours. If you put physical therapy, I spend eight, nine hours out of my home every single day. Do healing you know, to recover.
“So it’s a lot of work and the payment, after this in my case, not worth all this work. I love MMA. MMA bring me unto here. I’m so grateful, but sometimes you need to pay bills, bro. You need to look for your future and the way that my deals… I think the big mistake of my career was signing that deal in 2017. So long for less money. I didn’t sign a smart deal.”