Paulo Costa reveals timeframe for return to Octagon, suggests two potential opponents

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

UFC middleweight contender Paulo Costa revealed the timeframe for his return to the Octagon, and he suggested two potential opponents for it.

Costa was set to fight Robert Whittaker in a potential No. 1 contender match at a UFC Fight Night card on April 17, but the fight fell apart because Costa is currently sick. The UFC didn’t want to take a chance that he wouldn’t be ready for the fight, so the promotion pulled Costa and replaced him with Kelvin Gastelum. While Gastelum benefits from Costa’s bad luck, the Brazilian continues to try and get better after battling the flu and COVID-19.

With Costa officially out of the Whittaker fight, he’s already looking ahead to who he could face when he returns to the Octagon once he feels better. Speaking to AG Fight, Costa said that he is looking to get back in the cage starting in May, and he listed Jack Hermansson and Jared Cannonier as potential opponents while dismissing Derek Brunson as one. Brunson fights Kevin Holland this weekend at UFC Vegas 22, but both of those fighters are not in the top-five, which is what Costa is hoping for when he gets back into the Octagon.

“I think Derek Brunson is further back (in the rankings), more unknown, more off. I don’t think he (is in the running) The other two (Jared Cannonier and Jack Hermansson), any of them. Whoever the public wants, whoever the UFC wants,” Costa said.

Costa (13-1) is the No. 2 ranked middleweight in the UFC right now, so despite losing to Israel Adesanya via TKO at UFC 253 and falling out of the fight with Whittaker, he remains one of the top-ranked fighters in the world at his weight class. Cannonier, meanwhile, is ranked No. 3 while Hermansson is ranked No. 6, Brunson is No. 7 and Holland is at No. 10.

Who do you want to see Paulo Costa fight in his return to the UFC?

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