Robert Whittaker Eyes Title Shot, After Paulo Costa Pulls Out Of April 17 Headliner

The highly anticipated bout between Robert Whittaker and Paulo Costa is off.

Costa Whittaker
Images via Instagram

Things in the UFC Middleweight division just got a little bit more interesting.

Former title challenger Paulo Costa has fallen ill prior to the headliner against Robert Whittaker, experiencing a severe flu which would have him withdraw from the event, sources told AG Fight.

Costa is coming off a round 3 TKO loss to Israel Adesanya at UFC 253 last September. He was looking to bounce back into title contention with a win over former middleweight king, Robert Whittaker, but those plans have been ultimately stalled.

The uninstallation of the April 17th main event provides  an uncertain future for the card. It is unsure at this time on whether the UFC will offer ‘The Reaper’ another potential grain to reap.

One offer that is on the table is to have the highly anticipated matchup rebooked for May 1 or May 8, giving ‘The Eraser’ to pencil in more training. 

A Shift In Focus

Robert Whittaker have other plans however. 

According to a report from Sporting News, Team Whittaker has requested for an immediate title fight with current champion, Israel Adesanya. 

Reaping Season

Since being knocked out by Adesanya at UFC 243 in October 2019, Whittaker has won two straight, earning decision wins over Darren Till and Jared Cannonier. 

Despite warning of his return back to 185lbs, after a title fight loss to Jan Blachowicz in his Light Heavyweight debut, team Adesanya has shown no interest in the Aussie. They have been quoted saying that they are looking at a new challenge and have shown interest in fighting Darren Till. 

No matter if Whittaker is rebooked to fight Costa or waits for an immediate shot at “The Last Stylebender”, one thing is for sure. Robert Whittaker wants redemption. 

Published on March 16, 2021 at 10:46 am
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