Paulo Costa confirms fight with Robert Whittaker “very close” to being booked

Paulo Costa, Israel Adesanya
Image via @ufc on Instagram (photographer not listed)

UFC middleweight contender Paulo Costa confirmed that a fight against former champion Robert Whittaker is “very close” to being booked.

Costa recently called out Whittaker for what he said would be an “amazing fight” for the fans. Whittaker in turn said that he wasn’t interested in Costa at the moment, but it looks like the UFC has different plans. Speaking on his YouTube channel in a recent live chat with his fans, Costa confirmed that he’s deep into discussions with the UFC about the Whittaker fight, adding that a few details need to still be ironed out.

“Starting in December, I could fight. It depends on whom. I want to fight Whittaker and this fight is very close to happening. Very close. Very close to fighting Whittaker,” Costa said (via AG Fight).

“This fight with Whittaker is well underway. Will happen. I am sure it will happen. It’s in the details, needing a few things.”

A fight between Costa and Whittaker seems to make a lot of sense. With UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya moving up to 205lbs to challenge UFC light heavyweight champion Jan Blachowicz, who knows when Adesanya will fight at middleweight again. Instead of sitting out and waiting to see what Adesanya does at 205lbs, Whittaker may be better off taking a fight in the meantime to stay active, and facing the last guy to fight for the belt in Costa would seem like a logical matchup.

For Costa, he’s coming off the loss to Adesanya at UFC 253 and he is champing at the bit to get back in the mix. So fighting Whittaker — a former champion who is coming off of back-to-back wins over Darren Till and Jared Cannonier — would be the perfect opponent for him to beat in order to jump right back into title contention in the middleweight division. Ultimately, Whittaker has to agree to the fight, but we know that Costa is in.

Who do you think wins, Paulo Costa or Robert Whittaker?