UFC 284, which sees the octagon return to Perth, Australia this February, will feature one of the promotion’s biggest stars from the region.
Robert Whittaker (24-6) will face Paulo Costa (14-2) at the event on February 11, 2023 (Sunday, February 12 local time), UFC officials announced on Thursday. The event marks the UFC’s first trip to Australia since prior to the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.
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Australia’s Whittaker told Cageside Press following a win over Marvin Vettori at UFC Paris last month that he had no intention of fighting again before Christmas, and had singled out the Australian date.
“Honestly there’s an Australian card coming up next year, that’s in my back yard, obviously. Makes perfect sense for me,” he said at the time. With that in mind, Thursday’s announcement is not at all surprising.
The Vettori win, via a unanimous decision, continued Whittaker’s trend of defeating everyone put in front of him outside of Israel Adesanya, who will defend the UFC middleweight championship next month.
Paulo Costa will also enter UFC 284 off a key victory, in his case against Luke Rockhold at UFC 278. That fight went the distance as well, with Costa likewise earning a unanimous decision win. The bout sent Rockhold, a former Strikeforce and UFC champion at 185lbs, into retirement — and snapped a two fight skid endured by Brazil’s Costa.
UFC 284 will take place at the RAC Arena on February 11, 2023 (Feb. 12 locally), and will be the promotion’s 16th visit to Australia. No other fights besides Robert Whittaker vs. Paulo Costa have been announced for the card thus far.