Paulo Costa bows out of Robert Whittaker UFC Vegas 24 headliner

Paulo Costa has withdrawn from his UFC Vegas 24 headlining bout opposite Robert Whittaker.

Sources confirmed that Costa withdrew because of a severe bout of the flu, which has compromised his ability to train. AgFight initially reported that the bout was in doubt, but it now appears to be nixed.

The UFC Vegas 24 fight card is currently slated for April 17 in Las Vegas. It should be noted, however, that UFC 261 also is approved for Las Vegas, though UFC president Dana White on Monday announced that the pay-per-view event would take place to a packed house of fans at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Fla.

There are talks ongoing about rescheduling the bout for sometime in May.

Whittaker is the former UFC middleweight champion, having lost the belt to current titleholder Israel Adesanya at UFC 243 in October 2019. He bounced back strong in 2020, winning bouts against Darren Till and Jared Cannonier.

Costa was undefeated before he also ran into Adesanya at UFC 253 last September.

The UFC is likely to reschedule the bout instead of finding Whittaker a new opponent, as the winner is likely to get another shot at Adesanya, who recently failed in his attempt to wrest the UFC light heavyweight title from Jan Blachowicz.

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