One of the more anticipated UFC main events in the next month is off. Paulo Costa (13-1) has come down with the flu and he has pulled out of his main event against former middleweight champion, Robert Whittaker (22-5).
The news of Costa withdrawing has been confirmed after AG.Fight initially reported that the fight could be in trouble. Costa has come down with the flu. The flu has him to the point where he cannot properly train for the main event slot.
The matchup was set to take place on April 17th. This is one of many fights in the UFC‘s middleweight division over the next month that is being looked at as a potential title eliminator considering these are the top two guys in the division.
For Costa, this fight was supposed to be a chance for redemption. Costa got his title shot at UFC 253 and fell completely flat against Israel Adesanya (20-1). The fight was completely dominated by Stylebender. Costa has blamed a night of drinking wine for his poor performance at UFC 253.
Tough break for the former UFC champion
As of now the UFC is currently talking about pushing this fight back to either May 1st or May 8th if Costa can be ready. If not, there is also talk about potentially seeking out a different opponent for Whittaker, although, the promotion would like to keep these two paired.
You have to really feel for Robert Whittaker. Whittaker was dominant in his run to the middleweight title and has only lost once at 185 pounds. After he lost his UFC title, he’s gone on to defeat the top two contenders who Israel Adesanya was interested in facing.
In reality, Whittaker deserves a rematch with Adesanya, but the UFC hasn’t given that to him. Instead, he is being forced to fight another top contender to earn that shot. This will be a situation to monitor over the coming days.