Paulo Costa vs Jared Cannonier headliner in the works for Aug. 21

A middleweight bout between no. 2 contender Paulo Costa and no. 4 contender Jared Cannonier is close to being finalized, according to a report by ESPN’s Brett Okamoto.

The date for this five round middleweight headliner of a UFC Fight Night is said to be Aug. 21.

Costa is coming off a second-round TKO loss when he challenged for the middleweight title at UFC 253 against champion Israel Adesanya. 

Costa was originally scheduled to make his return to the octagon against no. 1 ranked middleweight Robert Whittaker on April 17 at UFC Vegas 24, but pulled out due to an illness and was replaced by Kelvin Gastelum.

Cannonier is coming off a unanimous decision loss to Robert Whittaker at UFC 254 in October 2020. Before his loss to Whittaker, Cannonier was on a three fight winning streak.

Five-round bout with Derek Brunson and Darren Till in the works

With this headliner scheduled to take place just a week after the provisional middleweight bout between no. 5 ranked contender Derek Brunson and no. 6 ranked middleweight Darren Till, the top of the division will be provided with some great fluidity in the late summer.

It is also worth mentioning that middleweight champion Israel Adesanya will defend his title against no. 3 ranked contender Marvin Vettori June 12 at UFC 263. 

Once could easily assume the winner of that fight will be watching their potential future challengers clash.