With Israel Adesanya set to challenge Jan Blachowicz on March 6th, the UFC is moving forward with a pivotal bout in the middleweight title shot picture. It’s being reported that a fight between former champ Robert Whittaker  and fellow contender, Paulo Costa , is being finalized.
Whittaker – Costa targeted for April 17th
After Whittaker bested Jared Cannonier for a decision win in October, there was talk about ‘Bobby Knuckles’ challenging Adesanya once again. The latter ended Whittaker’s reign as champion in 2019.
But, ultimately the UFC moved forward with a champ-champ bout between Adesanya and Blachowicz.
Well, more recently, Costa’s manager called for an interim title  fight between his client and Whittaker. While there’s no indication an interim belt will be up for grabs, ESPN  is reporting that Whitaker – Costa is nearly set for April 17th.
The bout will headline the card, which has yet to have location or venue determined.
So, given what’s transpired at the top of the UFC’s middleweight division in recent months, this match-up’s not surprising.
Whittaker has defeated top contenders like Till and Cannonier, and he and Costa are ranked #1 and #2 respectively. Marvin Vettori, who is ranked #5, is expected to face the #4 positioned Till on April 10th.
What will be interesting, however, is if Costa wins, will the UFC call on Adesanya to run it back with his rival? Even though he dominated Costa in September and stopped him in the second round?