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Dana White dismisses Paulo Costa pay complaint after ‘ridiculous, horrible performance’ against Israel Adesanya

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Paulo Costa and Israel Adesanya
Zuffa LLC

Dana White thinks Paulo Costa needs to put in the work if he wants to be paid more.

Whether that work is in the octagon or through some other platform, White can’t say, but what he’s sure of is that he’s not going to be bowing down to any demands from “Borrachinha” anytime soon. The recent UFC middleweight title challenger confirmed this past weekend that he will not be fighting Jared Cannonier in a bout that was reported to be taking place on Aug. 21 (Kelvin Gastelum has stepped in to replace Costa), claiming that he never signed the contract and citing issues with his compensation.

Costa’s complaint also made reference to the celebrity boxing match that took place Sunday between Floyd Mayweather and YouTube star Logan Paul. In the lead-up to their exhibition bout, both Mayweather and Paul claimed they were making at least eight figures for the event.

White spoke to TSN about Costa’s comments and it is his understanding that contracts had been signed for the Costa-Cannonier fight. He also questioned the wisdom of Costa demanding more money after losing to Israel Adesanya in his most recent fight at UFC 253 in September.

“I don’t think that’s true,” White said when asked about the Costa situation. “I think he did sign because we extended him. We extended his contract for turning down the fight. But listen, don’t fight. I have to offer you three fights a year, this is my situation with all these guys. I offer you three fights a year. He doesn’t have to fight. No problem, don’t fight.

“Guess what? You should have started a YouTube channel when you were [expletive] 13 years old and built your name up and everything else and you could have had the fight on Saturday night. But you didn’t. You’re not a [expletive] YouTuber, you’re a fighter, and this is what you do for a living. Or you don’t. It’s up to you. And you’re in no position to be talking about crazy money after your last performance. Okay? So you either want to fight or you don’t want to fight. No problem. You don’t want to fight, you can hang out and do whatever you want. When you’re ready, you let me know.”

White went on to repeat one of his most common refrains, reminding Costa that if he wants to search for new opportunities outside of the UFC, he can do so upon the completion of his contract. Otherwise, White has drawn a clear line at where he stands in negotiations with Costa for whenever the middleweight contender next decides to fight.

“Listen, you signed a contract, you’re under contract, if that’s the way you feel, let me tell you what, you know what I say all the time: We have fights every weekend and if you want to be busy, you can fight every weekend if you want to,” White said. “Get out of your contract and go do whatever you want to do. You can go fight YouTubers, you can do whatever you want.”

“Sure, he can fight his way out of his contract,” White continued. “He has a contract. I’m gonna let people out of their contracts just because they want—they’re mad that YouTube kid is fighting and making money? You should be happy for the kid. Good for him. Kid put himself in a position to where he was able to fight Floyd Mayweather and make a bunch of money. You’re mad? You just came off a ridiculous, horrible performance. Come back and put yourself in a position to do something big.”