UFC president Dana White confirmed that top middleweight contender Paulo Costa is injured and out of his fight against Israel Adesanya.
White confirmed in an interview with The Schmo that Costa injured his bicep and will be out for eight months. The UFC president says the promotion is working on securing a different opponent for Adesanya.
Check out what White told The Schmo below.
“He had surgery on his bicep,” White said of Costa. “So he’s out for eight months, but we are working on something else with Israel right now.”
Although the UFC never officially confirmed the Costa vs. Adesanya fight, it was the logical next matchup to make for the UFC middleweight championship after Adesanya claimed the undisputed title with a KO win over Robert Whittaker back at UFC 243 earlier this month.
Sources told Cole Shelton of BJPenn.com that the UFC was planning on having Costa challenge Adesanya for the belt at a UFC event in March in Las Vegas. That won’t be happening now, though it’s still possible Adesanya could remain on that card and fight someone else.
One possibility is that the winner of UFC 244’s Darren Till vs. Kelvin Gastelum bout could step in to fight Adesanya for the belt. Till is making his middleweight debut this weekend and if he wins that fight he will surely be amongst the top contenders as Gastelum is highly-regarded in the division. As for Gastelum, he just lost a close decision to Adesanya back at UFC 236. But it was an amazing fight and the UFC could choose to run it back should Gastelum get by Till this weekend. A rematch with Whittaker could also be an option, as could a fight with Jared Cannonier.
Many fans would like to see Jon Jones fight Adesanya next, but that seems unlikely at this time as Adesanya is expected to remain at 185lbs for at least a few title defenses.
Who should fight Israel Adesanya for the title next now that Paulo Costa is out of the fight with an injury?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 10/29/2019.