It seems that the negotiations between UFC president Dana White and middleweight contender Paulo Costa have all been done and settled. After the Brazilian’s coach claimed that ‘Borrachinha’ signed a contract of over a million dollars per fight, the promotion seemed a bit more at ease with the unpredictable athlete.
Shortly afterward, reports of a potential fight with Khamzat Chimaev started to surface. That fight fell by the wayside, with Costa now booked to take on Ikram Aliskerov at UFC 291 instead.
“Paulo has gone from one of the UFC’s most undervalued athletes to one of its most valued ones.” Costa’s manager said in a recent interview. “I’m sure, with no doubt, that Paulo is the most well-paid Brazilian within the promotion. Do you know any fighters who make more than a million dollars per fight? Because I don’t. Especially for non-title fights. The UFC knows that Paulo’s product sells. Paulo’s PPV against Adesanya was the most sold one in the middleweight division. The UFC has these numbers. The UFC knows the numbers Paulo can reach.”
Furthermore, Costa’s manager, Tamara Alves, claimed that they were able to arrive at such a good deal once they realized how much the Brazilian was worth to the promotion and used that information against the UFC in their negotiations.
“First of all, an athlete must sell. They have to show the company results. Then you have to learn how much of that can turn into a financial figure that can be returned to the athlete. I think that was her biggest insight, alongside the team she put together. We had all these productive meetings where we able to quantify these numbers into real metrics. When we put that on the table during our negotiations, the UFC didn’t have much of an argument,”
A good deal for Costa, but for Dana White it seems that the negotiations were just another day at the office.
“I think that every fighter we deal with is different in certain ways. You know, some are easy, some are tougher, but that’s our job; that’s what we do. Our job is to get deals done, and we finally got him dialed in, and it will be fun to see him fight in Utah.”
After he signed a lucrative contract, the big question now will be, what can he do with it? Costa has already competed for UFC gold, it seems unlikely he’ll get many easy bookings going forward. White had some thoughts about the fight they lined up for Borrachinha against Aliskerov.
“I guarantee you this, he’s fighting a tough guy, and it’ll be a damn good fight. And like I said before, when you’re negotiating and doing deals with fights, you know. They’re not as easy behind-the-scenes as they seem on the surface.