UFC’s return to Australia has its first fight.
In a pivotal Middleweight contender clash, former champion, Robert Whittaker (25-6), is set to face a one-time title challenger, Paulo Costa (14-2), at UFC 284 in Perth, Australia on Feb. 12, 2023. Whittaker announced the match up on Twitter today (Thurs., Oct. 20, 2022).
UFC 284 will be the promotion’s first time back in the country since its record-breaking attendance event, UFC 243, in Oct. 2019. Whittaker also fought that night when colliding with Israel Adesanya for the first time, losing via second round knockout.
Whittaker will enter his next bout on the heels of an impressive unanimous decision victory over Marvin Vettori at UFC Paris last month (Sept. 2022). Despite no longer being the champion, Whittaker has been completely unmatched in the 185-pound division against all comers not named Adesanya.
The aforementioned Vettori and Adesanya were both of Costa’s lone successors in his career to this point. Dropping losses in back-to-back encounters, Costa most recently rebounded in a Fight of the Night awarded showdown against Luke Rockhold in Aug. 2022 at UFC 278. Costa walked away with the unanimous decision nod (watch highlights).
Before Whittaker and Costa meet at UFC 284, the Middleweight crown will be battled over between Adesanya and his old kickboxing rival, Alex Pereira, at UFC 281 on Nov. 12, 2022, in New York City.
UFC 284 will surely continue to fill out in the coming months and it only seems logical that the promotion will want to have the Featherweight kingpin, Alexander Volkanovki, fight in some capacity. Volkanovski is currently in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates for UFC 280, acting as the Lightweight title bout’s replacement fighter. He’s expected to challenge for the title at some point after the fight should his services not be needed this weekend (Sat., Oct. 22, 2022).
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