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Sean Strickland Embraces Five-Round Challenge Against Paulo Costa at UFC 302

Sean Strickland
Black Belt Plus

Sean Strickland is one of the few fighters who relish the grueling preparation for five-round fights. When UFC matchmakers offered Sean Strickland a co-main event fight against Paulo Costa at UFC 302: Makhachev vs Poirier, Strickland enthusiastically opted for the longer bout. “I always like five just because it gives me an excuse to spar more,” Strickland shared during an interview at Xtreme Couture in Las Vegas.

A seasoned fighter, Strickland has a track record of thriving in extended matches, having won five out of seven recent five-round fights, including a notable middleweight title win over Israel Adesanya in 2023. His only three-round bout during this period ended in a knockout loss. Despite a couple of setbacks in title defenses, Strickland remains undeterred, expressing a strong desire to reclaim his title, particularly through a rematch with Dricus Du Plessis.

Facing Paulo Costa, Strickland acknowledges his opponent's formidable kicking ability but remains confident, drawing inspiration from those who have previously defeated Costa. Strickland anticipates a tough match but is ready to prove his endurance and fighting skill. “I think it's going to be a five-round war,” he predicted, hinting at Costa's potential vulnerabilities in stamina.

As the fight approaches, Strickland's focus is clear: to win convincingly on June 1 and to seize any opportunity for a title rematch. With his eyes set firmly on reclaiming the championship belt, Strickland's upcoming fight in Newark represents not just another bout, but a pivotal moment in his career trajectory.

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