UFC president Dana White said that Team Paulo Costa has been “terrorizing” him to book a matchup against Robert Whittaker.
Whittaker and Costa are the No. 1 and No. 2 contenders, respectively, in the UFC middleweight division, behind only champion Israel Adesanya. With the champ moving up to 205lbs for his next fight, it’s put the 185lbs division in a bit of a tricky situation moving forward. There’s no guarantee Adesanya will even return to the weight class should he defeat Jan Blachowicz for the light heavyweight belt at UFC 259, so the rest of the top contenders are essentially stuck in limbo at the moment.
White recently said that Whittaker wouldn’t be fighting for a belt in his next fight, so at this point, the former champion will likely look for another opponent besides Adesanya. Just looking at the rankings, Costa makes perfect sense as his next fight, especially since both men are on a similar timeline. Costa’s manager Wallid Ismail said not long ago that the UFC was close to booking Costa vs. Whittaker, and for an interim title to boot, but so far that appears to just be what Team Costa desired.
Speaking to TheMacLife, White said that there’s no news on a potential Costa vs. Whittaker fight, though he admitted he likes the fight himself. The UFC president also noted that Ismail and Costa are “terrorizing” him for the matchup.
“Well, I can tell you Paulo Costa and his team are terrorizing us to make that fight. I would make that fight though. Yeah, I would make that fight,” White said, adding that if the UFC does book Costa vs. Whittaker it won’t be for an interim belt.
“No,” White bluntly said in regards to an interim belt being on the line.
At this point, it just looks like a matter of time before this fight gets officially booked, though both fighters may be disappointed to know that a title won’t be on the line.
Do you think Team Paulo Costa will get their wish and land the fight against Robert Whittaker?This article appeared first on BJPENN.COM