UFC: Paulo Costa Out of April 17 Bout with Robert Whittaker

Paulo Costa UFC 253 weigh-in
ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - SEPTEMBER 25: Paulo Costa of Brazil during the UFC 253 weigh-in on September 25, 2020 at Flash Forum on UFC Fight Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Paulo Costa is out of his fight with Robert Whittaker on April 17 due to a severe flu that has affected him in the final weeks of fight camp.

Illness has struck one of the UFC’s top middleweights as Paulo Costa is unable to fight Robert Whittaker as he is dealing with a severe flu that has affected him in the final weeks of fight camp.  Ag. Fight was first to report the news with multiple sources later confirming it to MMA Fighting.  The fight was originally scheduled to take place on April 17 in Las Vegas.  No news on rescheduling the fight or finding a replacement opponent for Whittaker has been made.

Paulo “The Eraser” Costa, 29, was looking to bounce back from his first career loss.  After riding an impressive 13 fight win-streak into a shot at the middleweight title, Costa was stopped in dominant fashion by Israel Adesanya in the second round.  Leading up to the bout, Costa had defeated former title challenger Yoel Romero, former champion Johny Hendricks, and perennial contender Uriah Hall.  Recently, Costa faced harsh criticism for comments that he drank too much wine the night before his fight with Adesanya due to a lack of sleep.

Former champion Robert Whittaker, 30, was poised to cement himself as the unquestioned top contender in the middleweight division after reeling off back-to-back victories over Darren Till and Jared Cannonier.  Prior to losing the title to Adesanya, “The Reaper” was on an impressive nine fight win-streak against the likes of Romero (twice), Derek Brunson, “Jacare” Souza, and others.  While he had previously dismissed the notion of fighting Costa, the two were eventually scheduled to fight while the title was on-hold as Adesanya pursued the light-heavyweight championship.

Roughly a month out from the event, there are several fights that have already been confirmed for the fight card.  The event is scheduled to take place at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas.