It is no secret that there are many disgruntled fighters in the UFC because of compensation, some of them even being former champions and marquee names. Rising middleweight prospect Paulo Henrique Costa, however, is not one of them.
During a media scrum on Tuesday, the undefeated Brazilian said he was able to leverage a contract in his favor as early as his second fight with the company.
“The UFC called me to renew my contract in my second fight, after I won by knockout at UFC Rio (against Oluwale Bamgbose),” Costa said (via MMA Fighting). “They called me, which is something unusual. I had a four-fight contract, and I thought ‘well, they see a different value in me.’”
“I asked for a high number, they said ‘this is way above what we usually pay, so let’s make a deal.’ They proposed the Johny Hendricks fight and then we would negotiate,” he continued. “I said ‘OK, but after that I will ask for more.’ They did this bet with me. If I had lost the fight, (the number) would possibly be lower than they had offered.”
“I won and asked what I wanted before, and we did some negotiations and renewed the contract.”
Costa took home a disclosed amount of $110,000 for his UFC 228 fight against Uriah Hall in July, along with a $50,000 bonus for Performance of the Night. According to him, the way to move up the payscale is through dominant performances, along with a more proactive approach.
“We have to go step by step. It’s hard to imagine four steps ahead,” Costa said. “I thought it would be fast, but with the moment the division is going through and me showing my superiority in the fights, it was faster than an average prediction. But I didn’t do a prediction before of how much I wanted to make.”
“Fighters can’t be inhibited, too humble. There’s no humility in the fighting game,” he added. “If you are confident, you have to say it, otherwise you’re being fake if you believe in something and say you don’t.”
“I think it’s important to show who you are. People want to see that. Nobody wants to see a loser, everybody wants to see someone who believes in himself and proves he’s right.”
Costa is still booked to face Yoel Romero at UFC 230 on November 3rd in New York City, despite the latter saying he won’t fight on the card.