Brazilian Pros Favor Sean Strickland Over Paulo Costa

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So, here’s the scoop. It’s not every day you see Brazilian fighters and analysts betting against their own. But that’s exactly what’s happening for the upcoming UFC showdown.

Paulo Costa, a big name in Brazil, is stepping back into the Octagon this Saturday. He’s up against Sean Strickland in a co-main event that’s got everyone talking. Costa’s had a rough patch, with three losses in his last four fights. Yep, he’s the underdog this time.

We reached out to six Brazilian MMA experts. They’ve got some interesting takes on this middleweight clash.

Vinicio Antony, a legend in coaching, had this to say: "Strickland’s a beast. We hired him once, and he was impressive, especially with his wrestling." He thinks Costa needs to keep his distance and use his kicks wisely. "If it goes to the ground, though, I’m all in for that."

Caio Borralho, UFC’s own, dropped some praise for Costa’s manager (and wife), Tamara. "The matchup’s a head-scratcher, ranking-wise," he admits. Borralho’s trained with both fighters and sees Costa’s kicks as his ace. But Strickland’s pressure and boxing might just tip the scales in his favor.

Renato Carneiro and Mauricio Ruffy are leaning towards Strickland too. Carneiro points out Strickland’s stamina and pressure game. Ruffy isn’t sold on Costa’s boxing, calling Strickland’s style "ugly but effective."

Joilton Lutterbach, however, sees a path to victory for Costa. "He’s tougher. I’d worry more if he faced Chimaev," he says.

Carlos Barreto, voice of UFC Fight Pass Brazil, thinks Strickland’s in his prime. "After facing Adesanya and Du Plessis, he’s my pick," Barreto explains. He’s curious if Costa will bring something new to the cage.

So, there you have it. The odds might favor Strickland, but in MMA, anything can happen. Will Costa surprise us, or will Strickland keep his momentum? Saturday can’t come soon enough.

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