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UFC odds: Robert Whittaker opens as betting favorite for Paulo Costa headliner on April 17

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With reigning middleweight champion Israel Adesanya bumping up to light heavyweight to battle 205-pound kingpin Jan Blachowicz, two of the top middleweight contenders will collide for the right to welcome him back.

UFC Fight Night: Whittaker v Till Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) middleweight champion Robert Whittaker will lace up the gloves for a five-round main event opposite musclebound title contender Paulo Costa atop the “Fight Night” card on April 17, presumably on ESPN+.

And he’ll do it as the -190 favorite.

That’s according to our betting buddies over at, who pegged Costa as the +165 underdog. A line that close is most certain to fluctuate — in both directions — as we creep closer to fight night, which does not yet have a city or venue attached.

Las Vegas and Abu Dhabi are the leadings candidates.

Whittaker (22-5) dropped his title to current middleweight champion Israel Adesanya at UFC 243, but has since scored back-to-back wins over Darren Till and Jared Cannonier. As for Costa (13-1), his “Stylebender” loss at UFC 253 marked the first defeat of his professional career.

Also doing work on April 17 are Gerald Meerschaert and Bartosz Fabinski, but no betting lines are available (yet) for their middleweight collision.