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Robert Whittaker uninterested in the third booking with Paulo Costa for the next fight

Former UFC middleweight champion Robert Whittaker has expressed his lack of interest in a third booking with Paulo Costa for his next fight. The two were scheduled to face each other at UFC 284 in February 2023, but the fight was scrapped due to contract negotiation issues between Costa and the UFC.

Costa had previously failed to show up for a match against Whittaker. The fight was scheduled in April 2021, however, Costa pulled out because of sickness, and Kelvin Gastelum took his place. Whittaker fails to regard Costa as being a trustworthy rival considering their past encounters.

Whittaker, who is currently ranked #2 in the middleweight division, has been on an impressive run for a long time since 2014 only failing to capitalize against his bitter rival Israel Adesanya two times.

In a recent interview, Whittaker made it clear that he's not interested in rebooking the fight with Costa, who is ranked #5 in the middleweight division.

“I’m not fighting him because, mate, this is the second time I was supposed to fight him, and he’s pulled out, and it just mucks everything up,” Whittaker said on “The MMA Hour.” “I have to do a whole camp, and I make expenses and costs and everything like that to get to a point where he falls away. This is the second time he’s done it. I want a fight that’s going to happen. I want a sure thing.”

Khamzat Chimaev, whose middleweight shift has been hinted at on multiple occasions following his horrific scale miss at welterweight, is another athlete who has remained in the thoughts of numerous spectators. Whittaker, meanwhile, is also not a fan of the Chechen born Swede native.

“Chimaev, he’s not in the division rankings,” Whittaker said. “I’m not a huge fan of guys just sliding in fighting wherever they want. It’s a different place. Like, the rankings are there for a reason, right? I like fighting top-five guys. That’s just where I’m at. I like fighting top about five guys because they’re the guys that they’re the best of the best, and they’ve earned, worked their way through the division to get there. It is so much harder to work your way through a division than to just slide in at the top.”

The public who discovers irregularities in the chances that are granted to specific individuals has often called into doubt if not openly ignored the fairness of the structure recognized as the UFC's rankings. Whittaker is aware that although having a number next to his name, it's uncertain he will face Adesanya a third time. But he won't stop striving despite it.


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