top of page

Robert Whittaker vs. Paulo Costa scrapped from UFC 284 card in Australia

It looks like Paulo Costa is looking for a quick escape from one of the best MMA promotions, UFC. The news came out that the most anticipated bout between the top middleweights Robert Whittaker and Paulo Costa is off the main card of UFC 284 in Australia due to a failure to reach an agreement with the Brazilian.

The bout was scheduled for February 13th almost exactly two months ago when the promotion made the announcement. The fight, however, will not go on as it was never confirmed.

Costa had been openly stating for a while that he hadn't agreed to the opponent or the fight's date since he was still in renegotiations with the UFC. According to reports, the former title contender is nearing the end of his existing agreement and is searching for a fresh one before agreeing to compete again.

The contract issue for Costa has been in the headlines for a long time. Costa’s demands are not the special ones the other. The higher pay cut has been an issue for the fighters in the UFC. Heavyweight Champion Francis Ngannou and Sean O’Malley have been very vocal regarding the matter and are in the same boat as the Brazilian.

After ESPN first broke the news of the fight's cancellation, Costa made a statement.

“Great fights is going down due to lack of negotiation skills,” Costa wrote on Twitter. “They should stop being petty.

“I think they’re taking it the wrong way, making fighters unhappy with deals isn’t very smart. It’s not only ME, I remember: [Francis Ngannou], [Sean] O’Malley, Mark Hunt, etc.”

In his last outing, Costa stepped in with the UFC veteran Luke Rockhold at UFC 278. He earned a total of 130,000$ which includes the 65,000$ for making it to the ring and 65,000$ for winning a bloodbath bout. It is still uncertain how much did UFC offer Costa in the new contract. But it pretty much clears the doubt that UFC and Paulo Costa are not on the same page and as a result, the fight is not going to happen on Whittaker’s home soil.

Whittaker must be disappointed by the twist of fate because UFC 284 was supposed to be his first bout back in his homeland since he was defeated by Israel Adesanya for the UFC middleweight championship in 2019. While a backup opponent has not yet been announced, it looks for the time being that Whittaker will no longer participate in Australia.

Whittaker also had his say regarding the cancellation of the co-main event at UFC 284 on his social media.

“It’s very upsetting to say [the rumors] are true,” Whittaker said. “The fight with Costa has fallen apart. UFC did everything in their power to get him to the fight. They gave him the new contract, from what I understand, to take the fight, and he still didn’t take the fight. The Perth fight is not happening. They’re looking to reschedule me March/April.”


bottom of page