Robert Whittaker will land in his desired next destination against a familiar contractual foe.
Whittaker was booked to face Costa in April of 2021, but Costa was forced to withdraw from the bout due to an illness. Whittaker would go on to face Kelvin Gastelum instead and take home a unanimous decision victory.
This was one of Whittaker’s four victories out of his last five fights, with the New Zealander most recently outpointing Marvin Vettori at UFC France in September.
Paulo Costa had been publicly lobbying to welcome Khamzat Chimaev to the middleweight division after the two were involved in a minor altercation last month. Chimaev has teased a move up to 185 after badly failing to make weight for his scheduled UFC 279 bout against Nate Diaz. Chimaev would go on to defeat Kevin Holland after revealing why he had no interest in fighting Costa.
This has not stopped Costa from continuing to bait and prod “Borz” into accepting a fight, but now the Brazilian has decided to take a respite from these frequent callouts and instead wrap up some other unfinished business of the more sanctioned variety with formerly booked opposition Robert Whittaker.
This will be Costa’s first bout since his Fight of the Night victory over Luke Rockhold at UFC 278 in August. The bout is currently scheduled for three rounds and will serve as the co-main event for the UFC 284 PPV.
MMA Twitter Reacts To Whittaker/Costa Announcement
Now that this pivotal middleweight bout is official, let’s look in at some reactions from MMA Twitter to the big news!
“You’re kidding. rob will pick him apart and outclass him. Unanimous decision.”
“Would’ve like to seen Costa vs Khamzat, but this is a gateway to another title shot.”
“Im kinda mad its only 3 rounds”
“At this point Khamzat will have to fight Colby, right? Who else is left for Khamzat to fight at this point if Paulo is busy…”
“Whittaker is about to get mega-trolled by@BorrachinhaMMA and I’m here for it all. Get the secret juice ready!!
“Robert Whittaker is just messing around with the other guys in the division before he gets the trilogy, I’ll pray for Costa.”
What is YOUR reaction to this middleweight bout between Robert Whittaker and Paulo Costa??