Sean Strickland before UFC 302: Paulo Costa knows I’m better than him, ‘I just have to f*ck up’ to lose

JERSEY CITY, N.J. – Sean Strickland believes it’s his fight to lose Saturday night.

The former UFC middleweight champion makes his return in the co-main event of UFC 302 against Paulo Costa in his first fight since losing the belt to Dricus Du Plessis earlier this year. Although he’s taking a seasoned contender, Strickland (28-6 MMA, 15-6 UFC) is confident that he’s got this win in the bag absent of any crucial mistake from his part.

“I’m better than Costa,” Strickland told reporters at Wednesday’s UFC 302 media day. “We know that; he knows that. I just have to f*ck up (to lose). Have I f*cked up before? Yeah, sure, but I don’t think it’s going to happen on Saturday.”

Strickland thinks Costa (14-3 MMA, 6-3 UFC) is a pretty straightforward challenge. He knows the Brazilian presents dangers but sees them as predictable.

“The thing with Costa, he’s a pretty basic guy,” Strickland said. “But just because you’re basic, that doesn’t mean you can’t fight. He just backs up and explodes and looks to catch you with something. That’s pretty much the take with Costa. He backs up, explodes, catches you with something, and then put pressure on him. Just don’t be a f*cking idiot.”

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

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie