A high-stakes middleweight pairing between one-time undisputed title challengers, Paulo ‘The Eraser’ Costa and Marvin ‘The Italian Dream’ Vettori has been booked to headline a UFC Fight Night event on October 23rd. — with a location or venue for the event yet to be determined by the organization.
Set to make his Octagon return for the first time since UFC 253 last September on ‘Fight Island’ in Abu Dhabi, UAE, Costa suffered a second round high-kick and strikes knockout loss to current champion, Israel Adesanya in his first title challenge. The defeat came as Costa’s first professionally.
Set to return himself from a loss to division kingpin, Adesanya, Trento native, Vettori suffered a rather one-sided unanimous decision rematch to the City Kickboxing standout in the main event of UFC 263 in June in his first title chase. ESPN MMA reporter, Brett Okamoto was first to report the pairing of Costa and Vettori.
Brazilian striker, Costa was recently forced from a high-profile UFC Vegas 24 headliner in April against former champion, Robert Whittaker — citing severe flu. Whittaker would go on to defeat short notice replacement, Kelvin Gastelum in a unanimous decision win.
The knockout ace then appeared to be booked to meet with Texas’ striker, Jared Cannonier for an August, however, insisted that he had never officially signed a bout agreement tofight Cannonier, voicing his displeasure with the rising issue of fighter pay in the promotion. As a result, the organization have since booked Cannonier opposite the aforenoted, Gastelum.
Seeing his 13-fight undefeated professional run snapped last September by Adesanya, The Ultimate Fighter Brazil: 3 alum has managed to score notable career victories against the likes of former welterweight champion, Johny Hendricks, recent UFC Vegas 33 headliner, Uriah Hall, and multiple time middleweight title challenger, promotional alum, Yoel Romero.
Dropping to the #6 rank at middleweight following his unanimous decision loss to Adesanya, an impressive string of five consecutive victories following his first loss to the Nigerian-Kiwi earned him a championship rematch in Glendale, Arizona.
As part of his winning streak, the Kings MMA staple took home victories against Cezar Ferreira, Andrew Sanchez, Karl Roberson, and a pair of headlining unanimous decision triumphs over both Jack Hermansson and Kevin Holland.