Robert Whittaker won’t be facing Paulo Costa at UFC 284 in Perth after all. Costa claims that he never signed a contract for the event despite UFC announcing it.
UFC had previously announced that the match will take place on February 13. However, attempts to finalize the middleweight match have reportedly failed.
Since the match was announced, Costa has called the announcement “fake news” on social media and has said in interviews that he is still in talks with the promotion about a new contract.
In support of Costa’s assertions, ESPN writer Brett Okamoto has said, “Costa and the UFC have discussed a new contract, but nothing has been agreed upon.”
In a social media post on Tuesday morning, Whittaker said that the match is no longer happening and that the reports are accurate.
“The fight with Costa has fallen apart. UFC tried 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. They are looking to reschedule me March-April. This is very upsetting.”
Interestingly Whittaker blamed Costa for not re-signing and said UFC did everything in their power.
Costa has long been vocal about his dreadful contract and has been vocal about the fact that he’s looking to get paid. Which makes sense, if you think back to UFC 278, majority of the people were more interested to see Costa against Rockhold as opposed to the Usman main event.
“Yes. I’m looking forward to being free agent for sure … I’m at the high high level, fighting the best in this division and my contract is so old. Too old. And when I fought Marvin Vettori, I got $35,000. “- Costa previously told media.
He made just $60,000 to show and $60,000 to win for his contest against Luke Rockhold. So it’s not exactly a surprise he’s unhappy and unwilling to bend the knee and resign a long term contract that has a limited promise.
Costa parted ways with manager Wallid Ismail over the contract negotiations earlier this year. In the time since, his popularity has sky rocketed thanks to his humor and willingness to interact with MMA Fans on social media.
Costa has been warning Whittaker about the fact that the contract hasn’t been signed for months.