A potential middleweight title-eliminator between former division kingpin, Robert ‘The Reaper’ Whittaker and most recent title chaser, Paulo ‘The Eraser’ Costa is reportedly in the works to headline a UFC Fight Night event on April 17th. — with a location or venue for the event yet to be determined, however, the UFC Apex facility in Las Vegas, Nevada is a possible landing pad.
Hoping to earn a rematch with incumbent 185-pound best, Israel ‘The Last Stylebender’ Adesanya in the Nigerian-Kiwi’s absence as he moves to light heavyweight to challenge Jan Blachowicz for spoils, Whittaker has won two on the trot. Most recently featuring at UFC 254 in October, Whittaker brought an end to the surge of Jared ‘The Killa Gorilla’ Cannonier via a unanimous decision win.
Headlining UFC 253 at the Flash Forum in Abu Dhabi, UAE the month prior, Belo Horizonte finisher, Costa failed to ever get started against Adesanya in his first promotional title tilt, dropping a one-sided second-round knockout defeat. The loss was the first of The Ultimate Fighter alum’s professional career. News of the targeted pairing was first penned by Sherdog.com reporter, Marcelo Alonso.
According to Alonso’s report, an interim championship won’t be up for grabs for the victor of the targeted tie, despite recent calls for the introduction of an interim throne in the absence of Adesanya by Costa and his manager, Wallid Ismail.
Featuring twice on ‘Fight Island’ last year, Auckland born favourite, Whittaker battled with former welterweight title challenger, Darren ‘The Gorilla’ Till in a July main event, taking home a close split decision win over the Team Kaobon striker.
October’s knockout loss to current champion, Adesanya snapped a stunning thirteen-fight unbeaten run for 29-year-old knockout ace, Costa. The Minas Gerais native had amassed an eye-catching five-five winning run prior to his first title challenge under the UFC’s banner, besting former 170-pound best, Johny Hendricks, TUF finalist, Uriah Hall, and recent Bellator MMA signing, Yoel Romero of note during his rise.