Henry Cejudo cautions Paulo Costa against striking-only approach to Sean Strickland at UFC 302

Henry Cejudo doesn’t like Paulo Costa’s chances against Sean Strickland if the fight stays standing.

Costa (14-3 MMA, 6-3 UFC) meets former UFC middleweight champion Strickland (28-6 MMA, 15-6 UFC) in Saturday’s UFC 302 (pay-per-view/ESPN2/ESPN+) co-main event at Prudential Center in Newark, N.J.

Cejudo warns Costa that if he doesn’t mix things up against Strickland, it’s going to be a long night for him.

“Paulo Costa, there is one thing that I will say about him: He trains like a mad man, but because he trains like a freakin’ mad man, he gets hurt, he gets injured,” Cejudo said on his “Pound 4 Pound” podcast with Kamaru Usman. “He still hasn’t learned his lesson man and if he does just decide to strike with a guy like Sean Strickland, Strickland’s got better striking in my opinion.

“Maybe he doesn’t kick, but he out-struck your boy. He out-struck Israel Adesanya, and that was just based on pressure. Paulo’s always the bully, but how does Paulo deal with somebody that is pressuring you? And trust me, dude, I’m boys with Paulo. Paulo stayed at my house. Tamara, they love my kid, but Jesus man, if he just decides to strike, I’ve got to go with Strickland.”

Costa will look to rebound after dropping an entertaining back-and-forth battle to Robert Whittaker at UFC 298. Prior to that, he outlasted Luke Rockhold in a Fight of the Night war at UFC 278.

After dethroning Israel Adesanya with a striking clinic at UFC 293, Strickland lost his middleweight title to Dricus Du Plessis by split decision at UFC 297 in January.

For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC 302.

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie