Sport | MMA

Costa fights his second Kiwi as headline bout against Whittaker

The UFC is in the final stages of confirming a middleweight contest between former champion, Kiwi Robert Whittaker and Paulo Costa, where they will be headlining a UFC Fight night on April 7, according to ESPN today.

Wow! UFC officials have confirmed Robert Whittaker will take on Paulo Costa on April 17. Five rounds. MORE 📝:

Posted by ESPN Australia / NZ on Monday, January 25, 2021

Whittaker has been chomping at the bit to get back to the top and reclaim his title from champion New Zealander Israel Adesanya. Since his loss to "'The Last Stylebender' in October 2019, "The Reaper" has bounced back with two decision wins over Darren Till and Jared Cannonier.

Costa was Adesanya's second opponent to challenge for the title in September 2020 and was TKO'd. The loss was also his first and broke his 13 win-streak in his professional career. This will be his first fight since September for 'Borrachinha'. A discussion was had about Costa moving up to the light heavyweight division, sources told ESPN, but he is staying in middleweight for now.

This bout might set up the next contender for the middleweight title. However, champion Adesanya is preparing to do what few other fighters have done and become a two-division champion, when he steps into the octagon with light heavyweight champion Jan Blachowicz on March 6.