A middleweight fight between former title challengers Paulo Costa and Marvin Vettori will headline UFC Fight Night 196 on October 23rd.
For Costa this will be his first bout back since his unsuccessful attempt to win the belt from Israel Adesanya back in September of last year.
It proved to be a disappointing night for Costa given the wave of momentum he had riding into that fight, having compiled a five-fight unbeaten start to his UFC run to take his career to 13-0 beforehand.
Costa clearly came off second-best against Adesanya from start to finish however, resulting in a convincing TKO stoppage by the second round.
Afterwards, Costa was lined up to fight former champion Robert Whittaker in April, but he contracted Covid-19 and had to pull out, while he also withdrew from another scheduled bout against Jared Cannonier a few months later, at which point he began to voice his frustration at the financial terms of his deal.
Now he’s finally ready to return, and will go up against the last man to have fought for the 185lb strap in Vettori, who also failed in his quest to beat the aforementioned Adesanya, losing out by unanimous decision.
Vettori had strung together a five-fight winning streak prior to that however, with victories over the likes of Karl Roberson, Jack Hermansson and Kevin Holland having paved the way to his title shot.
That now leaves Vettori ranked No.4 in the division, while Costa is two places above him at No.2 at they now prepare to top the bill at the UFC Fight Night 196 show.