clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Paulo Costa turns down UFC on ABC 2 main event slot

Team ‘Borrachinha’ prefers to keep their fight with Robert Whittaker on ESPN+ April 17th rather than headline an April 10th card on ABC.

UFC 253 Adesanya v Costa Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is headed back to ABC in April, and it looks like the promotion is hoping to stack the card with big names.

The promotion made its first appearance on ABC in Jan. 2021 with UFC Fight Night: “Holloway vs. Kattar.” That show pulled an average of 1.22 million viewers over its three-hour broadcast, peaking at 1.6 million for the main event and drawing a .72 rating in the all-important 18-49 demographic.

Those are not exactly stellar numbers, but considering the card started at 3 p.m. ET and was facing heavy competition with NFL playoff games, ABC seems happy enough to have UFC back.

The next date: Sat. April 10, 2021. UFC’s choice to headline? Paulo Costa vs. Robert Whittaker. Unfortunately, that fight was already targeted for an April 17, 2021, UFC Fight Night on ESPN+, and Costa’s team is refusing to accept the revised date. It seems like a strange decision — UFC is clearly trying to put the biggest non-PPV fights they can on these network cards, and Disney+ is also pushing these broadcast television cards to try and sweep people back to ESPN+.

But hey, “Borrachinha” gonna “Borrachinha.”

APR 10, APR 17, TOMORROW. WE ARE READY. @ufc @mickmaynard2 @sportingnewsau @fightnewsaustralia

Posted by Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Smeaton Grange on Thursday, February 11, 2021

Whittaker’s team seemed to take a bit of a swipe at Costa’s inflexibility with a Facebook post declaring, “APR 10, APR 17, TOMORROW. WE ARE READY.”

According to MMA Fighting, Whittaker vs. Costa is still on for April 17, 2021. The big fights in the works for the April 10, 2021, card that we know about: Darren Till vs. Marvin Vettori and Mackenzie Dern vs. Nina Ansaroff.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the MMA Mania Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your fighting news from MMA Mania