In light of UFC 248 fight week, Dana White was asked about the status of Paulo Costa, and what the future holds for him in the middleweight division.
Costa defeated Yoel Romero last October at UFC 241, and was supposed to be next in line to fight for the middleweight title, until he suffered a bicep tear that sidelined him. The UFC decided to move forward with the middleweight title shot, giving the opportunity to Romero instead.
On Tuesday, White confirmed that Costa is still next to fight for the title once he fully heals from his bicep injury.
“(Paulo Costa’s) next. He’s next,” said White. “If he didn’t get hurt, that would be – that fight would be happening now. But he got hurt, and I respect him, and I respect the fact that he wants to fight, ‘I’m ready, I’m ready.’ No you’re not, you’re not a doctor, okay? And then he got some guy who’s his buddy or something that’s saying he’s okay. No, that’s not how this works. I don’t wanna push him and make him hurt himself again. Take your time, you’re getting the fight. That fight’s gonna happen. Don’t worry about it.”
White added that his biggest concern is rushing Costa back too soon and having him re-injure his bicep.
“He’s close (to being fully recovered) but let’s take our time. Let – let him – the more time the better with that injury. You know, then he starts throwing up videos of him hitting the mits and doing all this crazy sh*t that he probably shouldn’t be doing right now. But he’s a freak athlete, so who knows. I just don’t want him to get hurt again,” said White.
It has been confirmed that Costa will be in attendence Saturday night for UFC 248: Adesanya vs. Romero.
Look for a potential call out from the winner of that fight, similar to what happened at UFC 243 when Adesanya knocked out Robert Whittaker in the third round and immediately scaled the UFC octagon to call out Costa.