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According to MMA Fighting, former UFC middleweight title contender Paulo Costa has pulled out of a fight against ex-champion Robert Whittaker, who was supposed to lead the UFC tournament on April 17. This information was confirmed by several sources familiar with the situation.
It is reported that Paulo Costa contracted a severe flu and is unable to properly prepare for a fight. It is not yet known what the UFC will do – whether it will move the date of the fight or find a new rival for Whittaker. According to MMA Fighting, the fight may be postponed to May 1st or May 8th.
Recall that Whittaker is on a streak of two victories, which he got in the battles against Darren Till and Jared Cannonier. Before that, in October 2019, he lost the championship title, losing by technical knockout to Israel Adesanya.
Paulo Costa in his last fight suffered the first defeat in his career, which the same Adesanya inflicted on him in the title fight.