Former UFC middleweight champion Robert Whittaker and 13-1 contender Paulo Costa are set to Main Event at UFC Fight Night 190 on April 17. The venue has not been finalized yet but considering Dana White said after the most recent Fight Island card that they would not be returning until possibly June, this fight will likely take place in Las Vegas.
Sherdog.com recently confirmed bout negotiations with sources from both camps. The location and venue of the Fight Night is yet to be confirmed and no contracts have been issued so far. Even with undefeated middleweight champion Israel Adesanya looking to take on light heavyweight champ Jan Blachowicz on March 7 at UFC 259, as of this writing there will be no interim title on the line for the Whittaker-Costa bout.
This bout between Whittaker and Costa will come after each suffered second-round stoppages to the Nigerian-born Kiwi Adesanya in 2019 and 2020 respectively.
Following number one contender Whittaker’s KO loss to Adesanya, “Bobby Knuckles” racked up some impressive wins last year over top middleweight contenders Darren Till and Jared Cannonier.
This will be Costa’s first return to the Octagon following his brutal TKO loss to Adesanya last year, which was the first loss on his professional record.
Both UFC veterans will be looking to establish themselves as worthy contenders for the belt as the future of the middleweight division remains uncertain following Adesanya’s move to the 205-pound division in taking on Polish powerhouse Blachowicz.
With Costa finishing 12 out of 13 wins, and Whittaker finishing 14 of his 22 victories, this fight stands little chance of seeing the 5th round final bell.
Time will tell whether we see the same kind of bad blood and trash talking between these 2 warriors that we saw between Costa and Adesanya.