Sean Strickland reveals the purse offered to him for potential Paulo Costa fight

Sean Strickland says he turned down the fight with Paulo Costa over money.
Sean Strickland
Sean Strickland / Mark Evans/GettyImages

Recently Paulo Costa let it slip that the UFC had offered him a fight with Sean Strickland for UFC 302 but Strickland turned down the fight. Fans were up in arms over the news, calling Strickland scared or Costa a liar.

“This is great stuff,” Costa said while appearing on The Coach and the Casual podcast. “UFC suggests a fight with [Jared] Cannonier. It’s a nice fight. I love the idea to fight Cannonier, and it should suggest that fight for June. But then two days ago, UFC come back and say, Paulo, you fight Strickland on June 1.” 

He says he didn't know why Strickland turned down the fight. "Unfortunately, I don't know what happened, Strickland said no. Strickland refused to fight me, that's what the UFC told me."

Sean Strickland says he was offered 'less' than $200K to fight Paulo Costa

Now the former middleweight champion is speaking out about exactly what went down and why he said no to Costa.

Strickland responded via his Instagram saying, "I never say no ... I say how much."

Strickland then took to Twitter to allude to the fact that he turned down the fight because of the pay. He tweeted, "Out of curiosity... What do you guys think I was offered to fight Costa on 7 weeks notice? Base contract....."

Someone guessed, $200k show, $200k win, $10K fight week incentive." To which Strickland replied, "Close but less lol." If Strickland, the former champion was going to make less than $200,000 to show on short-ish notice, it's no wonder he turned down the fight.

Fighter pay is rarely revealed anymore though there are some states that still allow that information to go public. Strickland's last fight versus Dricus Du Plessis occurred in Canada where they do not release fighter pay but several websites estimated Strickland's pat at $500,000 to show. This is, of course, just an estimate, and doesn't include incentive pay, PPV buys, or discretionary bonuses.

Strickland is coming off a close decision loss to Du Plessis and has been angling for a rematch, which is typical these days for a champion who loses his title. That might have been part of the motivation to say no.


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