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Paulo Costa says he never signed contract for Jared Cannonier fight, claims ‘YouTubers’ are exposing issues with fighter pay

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Paulo Costa
Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Paulo Costa has an explanation for his withdrawal from his latest booking.

Late Friday evening, it was reported that Costa will not be fighting Jared Cannonier in a middleweight bout at a UFC event on Aug. 21 and that he would be replaced by Kelvin Gastelum. The reasons for the withdrawal were not disclosed and now Costa is saying that he never actually signed a contract for the bout, which had not been officially announced by the UFC.

Costa took to Twitter shortly after the news broke that his fight was off to give his side of the story.

“UFC needs to pay me as main fighter to have fighting in main events,” Costa wrote. “YouTubers are showing all disgrace on this business.”

“Just to be clear,” Costa added. “I never signed or locked up that contract. Why UFC announced this fight if didn’t signed? My question too.”

Presumably, Costa is referring to the massive paydays that have been produced by the boxing bouts of YouTube stars Logan and Jake Paul. Logan is set to box Floyd Mayweather in an exhibition at a Showtime Sports event in Miami in which both participants are expected to cash eight-figure checks when it’s all said and done. Jake recently defeated retired MMA champion Ben Askren in a boxing bout and is next set to take on former UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley at a Showtime Sports event on Aug. 28.

Both Askren and Woodley have spoken publicly about how their compensation for fighting Jake dwarfed the paydays that they saw during the prime of their MMA careers.

Costa joins a list of disgruntled UFC stars who have criticized the promotion’s business practices, which includes names like Jon Jones, Conor McGregor, and Jorge Masvidal. Jake Paul has also been vocal about what he considers to be unfair pay for fighters from the UFC.

The Aug. 21 bout would have been Costa’s second straight headlining fight. In his most recent appearance, Costa lost by second-round TKO to middleweight champion Israel Adesanya in the main event of UFC 253 in September.

UPDATE: On Saturday, Costa took to Instagram to expand on his comments.

Im here to clarify. I have working so hard to come and make a great show for fans next against a great UFC name on similar position as me #2 top ranked but they keep insisting on paying me even less than some unranked fighters , thats so unfair.

And im A GUY WHO PEOPLE WANT TO SEE FIGHTING! ⚡️

I believe this is very bad for sport and fan’s lost good fights would suppose happened.I ll be training hard as always to make that vicious fight people love watch