CONFIRMED: Rob Whittaker takes on Brazilian legend Paulo Costa in UFC’s highly anticipated Australian return in February in Perth
- Local hopes Rob Whittaker will fight Paulo Costa next year at UFC 284 in Perth
- Other Aussies tipped to join him include Alex Volkanovski and Tyson Pedro
- UFC event at RAC Arena on Sunday, February 12 is tipped to sell out
Rob Whittaker’s pursuit of middleweight glory has been given a boost with confirmation that the popular Australian fighter will face Brazilian Paulo ‘The Eraser’ Costa next year at UFC 284 in Perth.
The fight is the first confirmed fight for the UFC’s return event in Australia, scheduled for February 12 at the RAC Arena.
It’s clear that Whittaker’s fight will be the co-main event on the map, with fellow Aussie Alex Volkanovski.
The stacked card — as promised by UFC boss Dana White — is poised to have some real local flavor, with Tai Tuivasa, Jack Della Maddalena and Tyson Pedro all tipped to take part.
It will be the first UFC event in Australia since 2019.
Aussie Rob Whittaker will enter the octagon next year against Brazilian Paulo ‘The Eraser’ Costa at UFC 284 in Perth
Brazilian Costa, 31, (pictured left) has only lost twice in his UFC career and has also racked up 11 career knockouts
Whittaker vs Costa is an absolute barn burner and a fantastic first addition to UFC 284, a match-up with ‘Fight of the Night’ potential and will be greatly anticipated by our fans,” the UFC Vice President, Australia and New Zealand, Peter Kloczko told News Corp.
Currently the number one middleweight contender, (Robert) Whittaker was Australia’s first-ever UFC champion and remains one of the biggest pay-per-view draws in Australia.
“We think it’s great that he can compete on home soil and against such an exciting opponent.”
Whittaker, 31, impressed at the previous start, surpassing highly regarded Italian Marvin Vettori in France last month.
It followed his second loss in the title fight to champion Israel Adesanya in Houston in February.
It’s clear that Whittaker’s fight will be the co-main event on the map in Perth, with fellow Aussie Alex Volkanovski (pictured right) also playing in UFC 284
While Whittaker, dubbed ‘The Reaper’ will have the support of the home crowd, Costa looms as a tough opponent.
The orthodox fighter has only lost and won twice in his MMA career his previous fight against American star Luke Rockhold in a unanimous decision.
Costa, 31, has also logged 11 career knockouts.
Whittaker addressed speculation about his future, possibly in the ring.
“I would like to box,” he said. “If I can get paid for something I love to do, mate, sign me up.”