One-time UFC middleweight title challenger, Paulo Costa has laughed off confirmation from promotional president, Dana White that he will be fighting at UFC 291 in July – taking on Contender Series alum, Ikram Aliskerov in a pay-per-view main card clash.

Costa, the current #5 ranked middleweight contender under the banner of the organization, has yet to feature inside the Octagon since he landed on the main card of UFC 278 back in August of last year against former undisputed middleweight champion, Luke Rockhold, scoring a unanimous decision victory to return to the winner’s enclosure.

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Boasting a 14-2 professional record, Belo Horizonte native, Costa has suffered defeats to just champion, Israel Adesanya courtesy of a second round knockout, as well as a close decision defeat to Marvin Vettori after forcing an impromptu light heavyweight showdown. 

Confirming how he has reached terms with the UFC on a new, reportedly lucrative multi-fight deal, Costa, who had been linked with an October return in Abu Dhabi, UAE against the undefeated Khamzat Chimaev at UFC 294.

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However, confirming the promotion’s return to Salt Lake City, Utah for UFC 291 on July 29. – the above-mentioned, White laid out multiple main card fights, including a middleweight pairing of Costa and former Brave CF staple, Aliskerov.

Addressing Costa’s future with the promotion during an interview with AgFight, White confirmed that Costa would be fighting Aliskerov in July at UFC 291 as well as confirming how the Brazilian had agreed terms on a new contract, leading to a response from Paulo Costa himself. 

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Paulo Costa fought for undisputed middleweight gold back in 2020

Competing for the middleweight title during his Octagon tenure, Costa has landed UFC victories over the likes of former welterweight champion, Johny Hendricks, Uriah Hall, former middleweight championship challenger, Yoel Romero, and last August, ex-champion, Rockhold. 

Aspiring mixed martial arts reporter based in Ireland. Follow along at @Ross_Markey on Twitter for all the latest news, fight announcements, opinion, and feature pieces.