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Violence! Robert Whittaker out to hurt, knockout ‘bully’ Paulo Costa at UFC 298

There are rumblings that a scheduled Middleweight collision between former division champion, Robert Whittaker, and ex-title contender, Paulo Costa, may not actually go down at UFC 298 on Feb. 17, 2024 in Anaheim, California. After all, Costa — who hasn’t competed in 18 months — has bailed on his last two proposed fights.

For his part, Whittaker is preparing for the pivotal 185-pound tilt, which could have major title implications. And while “The Reaper” knows it won’t be an easy fight, his plan is to bully the bully once the cage door slams shut.

“He’s a tough, powerful dude, and he’s a bully fighter,” Whittaker told Submission Radio. “If you give him the space and you give him his way, he’ll just bully you in there, and he thrives in that sort of situation. But, mate, I’ve fought plenty of bullies before. I’m going to take the fight to him, I’m going to bully him, I’m looking to get in there and hurt him. So no, I don’t think he’ll be getting his way.

“I think for myself anyway, it’s more about me controlling the fight, you know, taking the fight in the direction that I want it to go,” he continued. “Like, leading the dance, if you will. So, that’s more or less the game plan. It’s just to get out there and hurt him.

“Now, I’m looking to knock him out,” Whittaker concluded. “But, that’s what I’ve been trying for the entire camp. I’m looking for violence. I’ve got 15 minutes trying to switch him off, and that’s the objective. That’s exactly what we are. So, that’s very good, bro. We’re both on the exact same page.”

Whittaker comes into the fight having lost two of his last three fights, with his most recent setback coming against current Middleweight champion, Dricus Du Plessis, at UFC 290 last summer. Ranked No. 3 at the moment, the Australian-born fighter could make a case for another title shot with an impressive performance.

As for Costa, he snapped his two-fight by defeating Luke Rockhold at UFC 278 way back in Aug. 2022, and could very well slide his way into the championship conversation despite his recent inactivity.

He’s ready.

Remember that will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 298 fight card right here, starting with the early ESPN+ “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. ET (simulcast on ESPN at 8 p.m. ET), before the pay-per-view (PPV) main card start time at 10 p.m. ET (also on ESPN+).

To check out the latest and greatest UFC 298: “Volkanovski vs. Topuria” news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archive right here.

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