With current Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Middleweight champion Israel Adesanya planning to move up Light Heavyweight sometime in 2021 to face division kingpin, Jan Blachowicz, the 185-pound division will be at a standstill.
Or maybe not ...
According to comment’s made by Paulo Costa’s manager, Wallid Ismael, to Portal De Vale Tudo (via BJPenn.com), the promotion is looking to book an interim title fight between “Borrachinha” and ex-title holder, Robert Whittaker, though nothing is finalized at the moment.
Costa is coming off the first loss of his mixed martial arts (MMA) career, a knockout defeat at the hands of Adesanya in a title fight at UFC 253 back in September (see it here). Prior to that, Costa racked up 13 straight wins, including defeating his first five opponents inside the Octagon, including Uriah Hall and Yoel Romero.
As for Whittaker, he has won two in a row against Darren Till and Jared Cannonier since coughing up his 185-pound strap to “The Last Stylebender” at UFC 243 back in 2019, giving him his win No. 11 in last 12 fights.
Should this fight take place, the victor will likely face off against Adesanya in a title unification rematch later in the year. Of course, that’s assuming he doesn’t decide to hang around at 205 pounds a little while longer.