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Robert Whittaker pencilled in for April 17 showdown with Paulo Costa

Paulo Costa and Robert Whittaker
Paulo Costa and Robert Whittaker
ANALYST
Modified 26 Jan 2021
News

Former UFC middleweight champion Robert Whittaker is set to fight Paulo Costa on April 17 at UFC Fight Night 190, confirmed ESPN after an initial report by Sherdog.com.

Although UFC has not officially announced the fight or its location, reports claim that both the middleweights have agreed to fight each other on the aforementioned date.

Robert Whittaker is coming off a pair of victories after he suffered his first middleweight loss at the hands of Israel Adesanya in a title clash at UFC 243. 'The Reaper' scored two big wins against Darren Till and Jared Cannonier, stirring up his pursuit of once again competing for the title.

However, with Adesanya moving up one weight class to challenge Jan Blachowicz for the UFC light heavyweight championship, Whittaker is expected to fight Paulo Costa instead.

'Borrachinha' last fought Adesanya at UFC 253 for the middleweight title and was comfortably defeated by 'The Last Stylebender' in the second round of the fight. The Brazilian has since been seeking a fight against Robert Whittaker with the interim middleweight championship on the line.


Will Paulo Costa vs. Robert Whittaker fight for an interim title?

Despite the agreement between Paulo Costa and Robert Whittaker, their fight will not be for the UFC interim middleweight championship, according to Sherdog.com.

On January 2, Costa's manager, Wallid Ismail, proposed a clash between Borrachinha and Whittaker with an interim title on the line.

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“Dana White said he wants this fight (Paulo Costa vs. Robert Whittaker), that he would make this fight happen, and Whittaker said he would only fight for the belt next. We’re just waiting for Dana White to book this fight," Ismail told MMA Fighting.

However, it seems as though the top two contenders in the middleweight division will not lay a claim to the interim championship when they step into the octagon on April 17.

After defeating Jared Cannonier at UFC 254, Robert Whittaker had stated that he wants to enjoy some time off with his family, but The Reaper didn't directly brush aside the idea of a potential rematch with Israel Adesanya.

With Whittaker not being available for a few months, The Last Stylebender decided to make a jump to the 205-pound division and challenge Jan Blachowicz for the light heavyweight title.

As of now, apart from the Robert Whittaker vs. Paulo Costa fight, UFC Fight Night 190 is expected to host another middleweight bout between Gerald Meerschaert vs. Bartosz Fabiński.

Published 26 Jan 2021, 17:23 IST
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