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Robert Whittaker vs. Paulo Costa targeted for April 17 UFC Fight Night main event

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Robert Whittaker (pictured) fought twice in 2020, defeating Darren Till and Jared Cannonier on Fight Island
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Two middleweight contenders will collide in a five-round fight on April 17.

With 185-pound king Israel Adesanya moving up to light heavyweight to challenge Jan Blachowicz for a second belt on March 6, the UFC has opted to headline an April 17 Fight Night card with Robert Whittaker and Paulo Costa.

Both sides have agreed to compete on that date, but the deal has yet to be finalized, multiple people with knowledge of the situation told MMA Fighting. Sherdog first reported the news.

The UFC hasn’t officially announced the April 17 card, nor its exact location.

Whittaker (22-5) won two in a row since losing his belt to “The Last Stylebender” in 2019, earning decisions over Darren Till and Jared Cannonier in Abu Dhabi. “The Reaper” also holds key victories over the likes of Yoel Romero (twice), Ronaldo Souza, Derek Brunson and Uriah Hall.

Costa (13-1) made is way to the top of the division by beating Romero, Hall, Johny Hendricks, Oluwale Bamgbose and Garreth McLellan inside the octagon. However, he came up short against Adesanya on Fight Island this past September, suffering his first loss in an official MMA bout.