Paulo Costa just called out sick.
The No. 2-ranked middleweight contender recently withdrew from his Robert Whittaker main event on April 17, blaming a severe case of flu for interrupting his fight preparations. The promotion is hoping to rebook their headliner for early May, according to a report from MMA Fighting (via Ag Fight).
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.
The UFC event on April 17 does not have many (if any) names available for the new main event, so matchmakers may have to poach a nearby card or come up with a new fight to take over headlining duties.
Here’s the current lineup:
Bartosz Fabinski vs. Gerald Meerschaert
Parker Porter vs. Chase Sherman
Tracy Cortez vs. Justine Kish
Tony Gravely vs. Nate Maness
Austin Hubbard vs. Natan Levy
Drakkar Klose vs. Jeremy Stephens
The promotion has yet to make an official announcement.