After initially being reported by Sherdog that both camps are are in talks with the UFC for the fight on April 17th, UFC officials confirmed with Brett Okomoto of ESPN late Monday that the fight is official.
Former middleweight champ, Whittaker (22-5 MMA, 13-3 UFC) is coming off a unanimous decision victory over Jared Canonnier at UFC 254: Khabib vs. Gaethje, last October. He is currently on a two-fight winning streak, and has not been defeated since the loss of his title to Israel Adesanya back in 2019 where he was defeated in the second round by TKO.
Costa (13-1 MMA, 5-1 UFC), is the last person to challenge Israel Adesanya for the middleweight title. He finds himself in what appears to be a no. 1 contender match up against Whittaker. He has his undefeated 13-0 record snapped when he was TKO’d by Adesanya last September, at UFC 253: Adesanya vs. Costa. Prior to that, Costa was on a five-fight winning streak in the UFC with four TKO finishes.
The winner of this fight will likely rematch Adesanya for the middleweight title once he is done challenging for double-gold against Jan Blachowicz for the light heavyweight title at UFC 259: Blachowicz vs. Adesanya, in March.