UFC 298 Recap: Robert Whittaker wins a war against Paulo Costa

In the co-main event of UFC 298, we saw a middleweight matchup that has been years in the making. Former world champion Robert Whittaker (24-7) was looking to get back on track as he took on former title challenger Paulo Costa (14-2).

For Paulo Costa, this was his first fight since August 2022. He was booked for a few different fights over the past year and a half but they all fell through. Most recently he was supposed to face Khamzat Chimaev in October, but he suffered an infection in his elbow that required surgery. He was back in the octagon healthy tonight and he was looking for the biggest win of his career.

For years, only Israel Adesanya had the number of Robert Whittaker at 185 pounds. That changed last July when current champ Dricus Du Plessis stopped him in the second round. Bobby Knuckles entered the octagon tonight with a ton to prove and needed to get back on track in order to stay in the UFC’s middleweight title picture.

UFC 298 Recap

Round 1

The UFC 298 co-main event starts with immediate pressure from Costa. Big leg kick from Whittaker and then they both trade jabs. Another sharp leg kick from Whittaker. Whittaker really laying in those leg kicks in the opening minute. Head kick just blocked by Whittaker. Big combination from both men.

Whittaker lands another leg kick and jab. Big head kick from Costa just misses. Both men trade jabs. Step in jab from Whittaker and Costa lands a leg kick. Double lefts from Whittaker and another jab from Bobby Knuckles. Low kick from Whittaker. Right hand from Costa and a left from Whittaker.

Big right from Whittaker and now a big left. Big left from Costa and now another left from Whittaker. Low kicks traded by both men. Big left from Whittaker now. These two are throwing heat. Right hand from Whittaker snaps Costa’s head back. Huge leg kicks from both men. Blitz from Whittaker and he ends with a left and a leg kick.

Two straight lefts from Whittaker. Another leg kick from Whittaker. Leg kick from Costa. Right counter from Costa lands nicely. Sharp jab from Whittaker and now a jab from Costa. Right over the top from Whittaker. Big leg kicks from Whittaker. Nice shots from Whittaker. Big shots to the body from Costa and Whittaker answers with a combination. Another combination from Whittaker. Spinning back kick at the buzzer from Costa and that rocked Whittaker. That probably stole the round for Costa.

Round 2

Entering the second at UFC 298 and it’ll be interesting to see how Whittaker has recovered. Costa takes the center but eats three jabs from Whittaker and a leg kick. Leg kick from Whittaker and now a nice jab. Costa fires back a head kick that just gets blocked. Jab from Costa and now a left from Whittaker.

Big head kick from Whittaker and Costa smiles. Jab from Costa and a low kick. Low kick from Whittaker and now a combination. Sharp jab from Costa and then a low kick from Whittaker. Both men trade big shots and then an eye poke slows the action. Low kick from Whittaker and a combination from Bobby Knuckles.

Head kick from Costa now. Jab from Costa and Whittaker fires back. Big left over the top from Whittaker and another big jab. Calf kick from Whittaker. Huge combination from Whittaker. Whittaker is blasting Paulo Costa here with another combination. Whittaker is busted up but he’s touching up Costa in this round.

Big jab from Costa followed by a leg kick from Whittaker. Body kick from Whittaker. Calf kick and a combination from Whittaker. The round ends and I have it 1-1 at UFC 298.

Round 3

Entering the final round and whoever wins this round likely wins the fight. Costa immediately takes the center and lands a 1-2. Big left and a calf kick from Whittaker. Pressure here from Costa and Whittaker lands a combination. Combination from Whittaker and another calf kick. Costa’s leg doesn’t look great.

Costa with a nice leg kick of his own. Huge right over the top from Whittaker. They get in close and Costa lands a nice knee to the body. Sharp left from Whittaker. Big left hand again lands for Whittaker. 1-2 lands for Whittaker and now a calf kick. Calf kick from Whittaker and a body kick from Costa. Jab and a leg kick from Costa.

Body kick from Costa. Two rights from Whittaker. Big left from Whittaker and a jab from Whittaker. Calf kick and a left from Whittaker. Kick from Costa and a sharp jab. Combination from Whittaker and a big jab from Whittaker. Costa goes for a big kick but misses. Combination from Whittaker and now a jab.

They both trade kicks. Big left from Whittaker. Short elbow from Whittaker and a calf kick. Big step in jab from Whittaker and now a combination. Three straights from Whittaker. The fight ends and I have it 29-28 Whittaker at UFC 298.

Robert Whittaker def. Paulo Costa by Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)

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