Sean Strickland ‘ready to die’ vs. Paulo Costa at UFC 302: ‘It’s going to be a bloodbath’

Sean Strickland plans on dragging Paulo Costa to deep waters at UFC 302.

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

The former middleweight champion got a taste of a bloody battle when he lost his title to Dricus Du Plessis by split decision at UFC 297. He envisions another five-round war when he takes on Brazilian powerhouse Costa.

“UFC 302, man, it’s going to be a bloodbath,” Strickland said during the UFC 302 Countdown. “I think that me and Costa, we’re going to go in the deep water. It’s going to be a 25-minute war.

“I think we’re both going to be looking at each other in that third, fourth round, thinking, ‘F*ck, we’ve got one more round.’ But mentally, as always, I’m ready to die for what I want, and I think I’m going to pick him apart.”

Strickland’s head coach Eric Nicksick likes that the matchup is five rounds, where he expects his star student to excel.

“The five rounds, I think definitely favors us,” Nicksick told Submission Radio. “And that’s the mentality right now, is to try to drag this dude into some deep waters. I’m hoping we can get him out of there by Round 4 or Round 5.

“But this dude’s tough. He’s gritty. He’s durable. But it’s going to be up to us to just keep chipping away at him, chipping away at him. That that’s the goal. That’s the goal. I’m not trying to make a prediction, but I’m just telling you what we are expecting out of our athlete, and that’s it.”

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

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie