In a month that was meant to provide many answers for the middleweight division, there is now one major question surrounding heading into April: Who will be Robert Whittaker’s opponent?
As originally reported by AG. Fight, Paulo Costa has been forced to withdraw from his April 17 fight against Whittaker due to illness. There is no confirmation of COVID being the source of Costa’s condition, but he is said to be experiencing severe flu-like symptoms. If Whittaker is to remain on this card, the UFC will have to act fast in finding a replacement. However, there are reports that the UFC is looking at potentially rebooking the fight for either May 1 or May 8.
The month of April has been viewed as something of an unofficial middleweight tournament, with Robert Whittaker vs. Paulo Costa and Darren Till vs. Marvin Vettori both having been scheduled for the month. Now down one fight, this could prove to be a big opportunity for Till and Vettori to possibly cement themselves as the #1 contender for Israel Adesanya, particularly if Robert Whittaker fights a replacement who is outside of the top 5. Hopefully, Costa makes a swift and full recovery so that the mini-tournament takes place as planned with only a slight adjustment of one of the fight dates.
With Robert Whittaker’s status for the April 17 Fight Night card in limbo, the current lineup for the event is as follows:
Jeremy Stephens vs. Drakkar Klose
Austin Hubbard vs. Natan Levy
Tony Gravely vs. Nate Maness
Tracy Cortez vs. Justin Kish
Parker Porter vs. Chase Sherman
Bartosz vs. Gerald Meerschaert
Keep it locked right here on MMANews.com for any additional updates on Robert Whittaker’s next fight and if his bout against Costa will be rebooked for a later date.