Manager Pushes For Paulo Costa – Robert Whittaker Interim Title Fight
With Israel Adesanya set to fight Jan Blachowicz at UFC 259, Paulo Costa's manager wants 'Borrachinha' to battle for an interim belt.
Manager calls for Costa – Whittaker interim title fight
Recently it was reported that Adesanya will move up to challenge Blachowicz on March 6th at UFC 259. The fight has materialized, really, on account of Whittaker’s decision win over Jared Cannonier in October.
After Adesanya took out Costa in September, he relayed he wanted to fight Cannonier next, if he got past Whittaker. When that didn’t happen, Adesanya informed the UFC he wanted to battle Blachowicz next.
Well, recently Costa’s manager Wallid Ismail spoke with MMA Fighting. While doing so, Ismail called for an interim title fight between his client and Whitaker.
“This fight has been discussed ever since they first announced that Adesanya would fight the 205-pound champion Blachowicz,” Ismail said. “Dana White said he wants this fight, 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.”
“This is the best fight for 185, the No. 1 against the No. 2,” Ismail said. “The winner… Borrachinha will win, and with that win, imagine how many pay-per-views a rematch with Adesanya would do.
It’s a business. It’s the best pay-per-view possible because Borrachinha and Adesanya really hate each other, but we can’t leave the division on hold.
That’s why we have to make this for the interim belt.
“It’s a win-win for the UFC, and that’s what Dana White wants. He knows that Borrachinha vs. Whittaker will sell well, and he knows how much the title unification bout will sell, too.”
Will it happen?
Considering the abilities of both men, there’s no question a lot of people would like to see this fight. The question is, however, does Whittaker want to run the risk of losing his title shot?
Or, will the UFC insist that he fight again, now that Adesanya – Blachowicz is booked? Theoretically, provided Adesanya stays healthy, he should be ready to defend the middleweight title in the summer.
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The other question here is, does the UFC want to put Costa in a position where he could earn a rematch with Adesanya already? And would the latter agree to fight his rival again?
Their bout in September was pretty one-sided. So, you have to wonder if Adesanya would be interested in a rematch at this juncture.
Could he want to battle Marvin Vettori instead? Who Adesanya narrowly beat in his second UFC fight, back in 2018?