Sean Strickland’s coach reveals biggest focus for Paulo Costa clash: ‘He’s a menace…’

By Curtis Calhoun - May 24, 2024

Former UFC middleweight champion Sean Strickland’s head coach thinks Paulo Costa presents one unique problem for them to consider at UFC 302.

Sean Strickland, Paulo Costa

Strickland and Costa will square off in a five-round middleweight co-headliner at UFC 302 on June 1. The winner could potentially earn themselves a middleweight title shot, or at worst, a No. 1 contender fight.

Despite a loss to Robert Whittaker at UFC 298, Costa remains a unique puzzle to solve for Strickland and the rest of the middleweights. He has electric striking and one-punch knockout power to go with his unprecedented athleticism.

Strickland and his team know they’re in for a war at UFC 302 and are focusing on not letting Costa bully him as he has his other opponents.

Coach Eric Nicksick: Sean Strickland must do to beat Paulo Costa

In a recent interview with The Schmo, coach Eric Nicksick shared the main focus for Strickland against Costa.

“[Paulo]’s a menace when he gets your back up to the cage when he gets you backed up the barrier,” Nicksick said. “That’s when I think his name ‘The Eraser’ is very prevalent and he’s looking to put your lights out. So it’s going to be important to not back yourself up in the cage. He’s very, very good there, very dynamic…

“When you watched him with Robert Whittaker, the kicks come from anywhere, but they come fast, too. So we gotta make sure that [Sean’s] not in the position where he’s leaning, or in a bad spot position-wise.”

Strickland is looking to earn another UFC middleweight title shot after losing the belt to Dricus du Plessis at UFC 297 in January. He pulled off one of the biggest upsets in UFC history last September when he defeated Israel Adesanya by unanimous decision to win the belt.

Strickland and Costa are ready to put on a show in Newark, and if Nicksick’s comments are any indication of how it might play out, expect a chess match inside the Octagon.

This article appeared first on BJPENN.COM


Eric Nicksick Paulo Costa Sean Strickland UFC