Reigning Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) middleweight champion, Robert Whittaker, will attempt to unify the division titles when he collides with current interim 185-pound titleholder, Israel Adesanya, at the upcoming UFC 243 pay-per-view (PPV) event, set for Sat., Oct. 5, 2019 inside Marvel Stadium in Melbourne, Australia.
Sitting cageside will be undefeated No. 2-ranked middleweight contender, Paulo Costa, who is expected to fight the winner of Whittaker vs. Adesanya after turning away 185-power puncher, Yoel Romero, at the UFC 241 event last month in Anaheim, in what marked the first decision win across the Brazilian’s unblemished career.
“Yes, I am going to Melbourne,” Costa told BJPenn.com. “Dana White is sending me there and said I get the next title shot. I fight the winner of Whittaker-Adesanya. I want to fight in January against whoever wins in October [but] UFC is the boss, so they will decide when it will happen. I want that fight in January.”
That’s assuming Whittaker actually makes it to fight night.
“I can beat both. I think Adesanya is a fake champion. He hasn’t fought anyone tough, he is a skinny clown. I have a personal problem with him,” Costa continued. “If he beats Whittaker, which I don’t think, I’m going to kill him. He doesn’t stand a chance against me. As for Whittaker, he is good, tough guy. He is not as strong as Yoel, so I can take him. He is like Yoel with less power, so I can beat both of them. I really want Adesanya, though.”
Adesanya, like Costa, is undefeated in his UFC career at 17-0 and captured the substitute strap by turning away Kelvin Gastelum at UFC 236 earlier this year. It was a close victory that had some fans (and pundits) questioning if a similar performance would lead to his UFC 243 demise.
Either way, “The Eraser” will be ready.