Robert Whittaker will be on the card in Perth, Australia at UFC 284, UFC has officially announced.
Former UFC Middleweight Champion Whittaker will take on Paulo Costa in one of the marquee bouts at RAC Arena on February 11, 2023(Feb 12 in local time).
Whittaker has hinted about being put on the fight card with a recent post on Instagram. He put up a caption, “#UFCPerth, I owe Perth a fight.” And the first bout that UFC made official is his clash with Brazil’s Paulo Costa. The bout at UFC 284 will be Whittaker’s first fight in Perth in UFC. He last fought in Perth when he defeated Shaun Spooner to win Super Fight Australia Welterweight title in March 2012.
The last time he fought in Australia, Whittaker ended up losing UFC Middleweight Championship to Israel Adesanya at UFC 243. After that, he defeated other title contenders Darren Till, Jared Cannonier and Kelvin Gastelum in consecutive bouts before losing the title rematch against Adesanya at UFC 271. He last defeated Marvin Vettori at UFC Paris Fight Night event in September this year.
Paulo Costa is also a former middleweight title challenger as he lost to Adesanya at UFC 253. That was his first loss in MMA career, but it was followed by a loss to Marvin Vettori in a Light Heavyweight bout. He recently defeated veteran Luke Rockhold at UFC 278 to get back to winning ways.
Whittaker is currently at #1 in UFC Middleweight rankings while Costa holds #6 spot. It remains to be seen if a high-profile win like this would secure another title shot for either men. UFC Middleweight Champion Israel Adesanya would defend the title against Alex Periera at UFC 281 next month.
Keep tuned in for more news and updates on UFC 284.