Melki Costa is stepping in on short notice to face Thiago Moises in a lightweight contest at UFC 283 on Jan. 21, multiple people with knowledge of the situation told MMA Fighting. Both athletes have agreed verbally, however contracts are yet to be issued.
Costa will replace Guram Kutateladze, who withdrew from the card earlier this year. UFC 283 takes place at Rio de Janeiro’s Jeunesse Arena and air live on pay-per-view.
Costa (19-5) makes his first walk to the octagon after finishing back-to-back opponents, most recently with a third-round finish over Junior Melo in the main event of LFA 147. The 26-year-old has won seven of his past eight fights since 2019, five of which by stoppage.
Moises (16-6) tapped Christos Giagos in his most recent UFC appearance in June 2022 to rebound from defeats to Islam Makhachev and Joel Alvarez. The former RFA champion has gone 5-4 so far in the UFC, beating the likes of Michael Johnson, Bobby Green, and Alexander Hernandez.
UFC 283 is headlined by two title fights: Glover Teixeira vs. Jamahal Hill for the vacant light heavyweight strap, as well as a fourth fight between flyweight titleholders Deiveson Figueiredo and Brandon Moreno to unify belts in the co-main event.