Robert Whittaker Wants Title Eliminator Following Victory Over ‘Best Version’ Paulo Costa

Robert Whittaker is eyeing a title eliminator. After defeating Paulo Costa, he’s confident he faced a version of Costa that could topple many top middleweights.

Costa’s last fight before facing Whittaker was in August 2022. At UFC 298, he stepped into the octagon against Whittaker, coming off a peculiar decision victory over Luke Rockhold. This win was Costa’s comeback after a two-fight losing streak and Rockhold’s return from a three-year break.

The speculation was rife. How would Costa fare against Whittaker? The former champ, Whittaker, prepared for the best Costa possible. And Costa didn’t disappoint, delivering a performance that went the distance, although he didn’t secure the win.

Whittaker believes Costa’s UFC 298 showing was his career’s pinnacle. On “The MMA Hour,” he admitted he got the best version of Costa. “Bloody hell, right?” he remarked, acknowledging Costa’s exceptional speed and resilience. Whittaker had anticipated Costa’s toughness from his bouts with Romero. Yet, he noticed Costa’s performance dipped when pressured, a weakness Whittaker aimed to exploit.

Looking ahead, Whittaker plans to fight in August. He’s hopeful for a title eliminator on home turf, with the UFC rumored to return to Australia. “I want the next fight to be the one that gets me back to the gold,” he stated, eager for a bout that could secure his championship contention.

The current champ, Dricus Du Plessis, is set to defend his title against Israel Adesanya. Whittaker sees a fight against the recently dethroned Sean Strickland as a potential title eliminator. “I like that,” he said, recognizing a win over Strickland could vault him into title contention. “It’s all systems go.”

MMA News & Rumors