Reigning UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya is expected to defend his 185-pound title against No. 2-ranked contender Paulo Costa at some point later this year, though UFC President Dana White didn’t express any urgency in getting the deal done.
And while the promotion wasted no time in booking Stipe Miocic vs. Daniel Cormier and Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Justin Gaethje, it seems matchmakers are too busy focusing their efforts on “Fight Island” to worry about the middleweight title picture.
“There’s no hold up,” White told reporters in Abu Dhabi. “We just haven’t done it yet. There’s no hold up. We’re focused on Fight Island, I’m not thinking about anything other than this right now. We have fights laid out until October, our schedule’s already made, we’re way ahead of this thing. When it’s time, we’ll announce it.”
To be fair, Adesanya last competed against Yoel Romero back in March, so it hasn’t been an inordinate amount of time between title defenses. That said, there appears to be some disagreement over why the Costa fight has yet to be booked.
There were also rumors about resurrecting The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) combat sports reality show and just like the fight itself, both sides tell a different story about using Adesanya and Costa as coaches. All we can do at this point is wait and see.