Dana White has revealed that an eagerly anticipated middleweight fight between current champion Israel Adesanya and Paulo Costa won’t be happening next due to the challenger having undergone surgery recently.
Costa earned his title fight after compiling a perfect 13-0 record, including five wins in a row inside the Octagon to date, but it’s come at a price as he’s now had to undergo an operation to repair a torn bicep.
It seems the promotion have been keeping this news under wraps as Costa had the surgery in September and still has another eight months to go before he’ll be ready to fight again.
However, the UFC have been working behind the scenes on a replacement to fight Adesanya instead, and though White wasn’t ready to confirm who it was in an interview yesterday, Adesanya may have spilled the beans.
“You guys just finding out shit we been knowing for weeks and plotting on for months! #staywoke #iseeyousoonboi @YoelRomeroMMA,” Adesanya wrote on Twitter.
If it is to be Romero, then that coincidentally would be the opponent that Costa defeated in order to earn his own title shot last time out.
Romero is the current No.3 contender in the division, and if it goes ahead this would be his fourth title opportunity in his last five fights, having initially lost to Robert Whittaker for the interim title, then defeated Luke Rockhold in what would prove to be a non-title affair due to ‘The Soldier Of God’ missing weight.
Following that Romero again fought Whittaker and again failed to make weight, rendering it a non-title fight again and going on to lose by split decision.
Now it seems like he’s on course to get another chance to win a UFC title, though to do so he’ll have to become the first man to defeat Adesanya, whose career record now stands at a stellar 18-0.