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Paulo Costa turns down new date for Robert Whittaker fight, bout still on for April 17 UFC main event

Paulo Costa (pictured) is still scheduled to face Robert Whittaker in a five-round fight on April 17
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Paulo Costa isn’t changing his upcoming fight plans.

“Borrachinha” is currently scheduled to fight Robert Whittaker in a UFC main event on April 17, but MMA Fighting has learned from sources that the UFC considered hosting the fight a week earlier only for Costa’s side to turn that proposal down.

As Fight News Australia first reported, Whittaker vs. Costa, was suggested as the headlining bout for the UFC’s second show on ABC on April 10. Costa, however, didn’t approve the idea.

The highly anticipated middleweight fight is still on for the main event of the ESPN+ show on April 17, sources said. The April 10 event is currently headlined by Darren Till vs. Marvin Vettori. The UFC has yet to announce the location for both cards.

Whittaker (22-5) has won two in a row since losing his belt to Israel Adesanya in October 2019, defeating Darren Till and Jared Cannonier via decision.

Costa (13-1), on the other hand, looks to rebound from a second-round TKO defeat to Adesanya their a championship match at UFC 253, Costa’s sole fight of 2020.

The winner of Whittaker-Costa could potentially earn a shot at the 185-pound belt and rematch Adesanya, who goes for a second belt when he takes on light heavyweight champion Jan Blachowicz at UFC 259 on March 6.

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