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Paulo Costa won’t get to erase Israel Adesanya because Robert Whittaker will beat him to the punch

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Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) interim middleweight champion, Israel Adesanya, has been upsetting the 185-pound apple cart this past year or so, thanks to his incessant trash talk, which I guess was the intended outcome so ... job well done?

Either way, top middleweight contender, Paulo Costa, is hoping to teach Adesanya a thing or two about manners, but may never get the chance to kill that guy share the Octagon with “The Last Stylebender” — at least for the foreseeable future — because Robert Whittaker is going to beat him to the punch.

Literally.

“That’s the biggest thing I took away from that (UFC 236) fight,” Whittaker told Triple M (transcribed by MMA Junkie). “If (Kelvin) Gastelum can puts hands on him, I can puts hands on him. Honestly, I think I’m going to finish him. I’m definitely going to look for the finish, but I think I’m going to finish him somewhere in the second, third round.”

He’s got five rounds to get it done.

Costa emerged as next in line for a middleweight title shot with his unanimous decision win over Yoel Romero last weekend in Anaheim. During his post-fight interview (watch it here). “The Eraser” took exception to Adesanya’s dino-arm critique.

The only way he can get some payback is if “The Last Stylebender” is able to defeat Whittaker in the UFC 243 pay-per-view (PPV) main event this October in Melbourne, though his consolation prize is likely a crack at the 185-pound crown.

For much more on UFC 243 click here.