A high-stakes potential UFC middleweight title-eliminator between one-time championship challenger, Paulo Costa, and the #4 ranked contender, Jared Cannonier has been booked to take main event honours at a UFC Fight Night event on August 21st. — with a location or venue for the event yet to be determined by the promotion.
Headlining UFC 253 last September on ‘Fight Island’ — Belo Horizonte striker, Costa suffered his first professional loss in mixed martial arts in the form of a second round knockout defeat to current middleweight titleholder, Israel Adesanya.
Also featuring on ‘Fight Island’ in his last Octagon outing, Cannonier saw his three-fight rise through the 185lbs ranks halted by former middleweight kingpin, Robert Whittaker at UFC 254 in Abu Dhabi, UAE. The Texan suffered a broken forearm during the first round of the co-main event slot. News of the eye-catching pairing was first reported by ESPN MMA reporter, Brett Okamoto per UFC president, Dana White.
A six-fight Octagon veteran, Brazilian contender, Costa, who is ranked at #2 in the official middleweight pile, succumbed to second round strikes in his premier title challenge under the UFC’s banner back in September of last year.
Scoring knockout wins in four of his five Octagon successes, Costa bested Garreth McLellan, Oluwale Bamgbose, Johny Hendricks, and Uriah Hall — prior to a close unanimous decision victory over multiple-time middleweight title challenger, Yoel Romero.
37-year-old Dallas native, Cannonier made massive waves in the 185lbs ranks prior to his unanimous judging loss to Whittaker back in October.
Snapping a two-fight skid at light heavyweight against current champion, Jan Blachowicz and two-time title chaser, Dominick Reyes, Cannonier stopped former two-weight WSOF champion, David Branch with second round strikes.
Featuring at UFC 237 in Brazil in May of 2019, Cannonier stopped former middleweight champion, Anderson Silva with leg kicks in the opening rounds, before a UFC Fight Night Copenhagen knockout win over Jack Hermansson in a September main event.