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Paulo Costa Eyes Title Shot with UFC 302 Co-Main Event Against Sean Strickland

Paolo Costa
Black Belt Plus

Paulo Costa, a formidable presence in the UFC middleweight division, is determined to leverage his growing fighting skills for a second shot at the UFC middleweight title.

This Saturday night at UFC 302 in Newark, New Jersey, Costa faces former champion Sean Strickland in a pivotal five-round co-main event.

The clash of these two major personalities in the 185-pound division promises to elevate the victor towards a championship bout later this year.

Strickland's bold character contrasts sharply with some, yet Costa finds common ground, admiring his patriotism and zeal. "He's a bit crazy, but it's good for promotion," Costa remarked during a media event, anticipating the thrilling showcase both fighters will deliver.

Following a decision loss to Robert Whittaker at UFC 298, Paulo Costa makes a quick return to the Octagon in UFC 302, marking a significant pace change from his previous yearly fight schedule. Energized and injury-free from his last match, Costa is enthusiastic about maintaining his momentum. "Why not keep the progress, and not lose all the work that I did for that fight?" he reasoned.

Costa also highlighted improvements in his fighting technique, supported by his coach, Captain Eric Albarracin's insight on seeing "a different Paulo Costa" this weekend. Costa is excited to demonstrate the enhancements made since his last fight, promising an array of new techniques, including the unexpected, like the spinning back heel kick seen in his recent bout.

This match offers Costa an excellent chance to rebound and enhance his standing within the division. With another high-profile middleweight fight between Whittaker and Khamzat Chimaev on the horizon, Costa is focused on delivering a standout performance that could lead directly to a title opportunity, depending on the outcomes of the upcoming fights.

Costa also playfully commented on his ranking in an AI-generated list of the most attractive UFC fighters, where he was placed second, just behind Conor McGregor and ahead of Strickland. "I'm the best-looking fighter ever!" he joked, lightening the mood as he prepares for a critical battle in his career.

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