UFC middleweight contender Paulo Costa has withdrawn from his forthcoming fight with the former champ, Robert Whittaker.

An initial report from AG Fight revealed Costa vs. Whittaker was in jeopardy.

MMA Fighting have since confirmed the one-time middleweight title challenger is out of the match-up.

‘Borrachinha’ was supposed to square off against Whittaker on April 17 but has been forced out of the bout as he deals with a severe case of the flu.

As of right now, it is unclear if ‘The Reaper’ will remain on the card against an alternative opponent or if his fight with Costa will be re-scheduled.

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Costa hasn’t fought since falling short in his middleweight title bid last year.

‘Borrachinha’ was dominated by Israel Adesanya who picked up an impressive, second round TKO win over Costa at UFC 253.

Prior to that fight, Costa had a perfect record in MMA.

The Brazilian knockout artist had won 13 straight fights since turning pro in 2012 and beat the likes of Yoel Romero, Uriah Hall and Johny Hendricks.

Whittaker is a former middleweight champion who appears to be on the cusp of re-gaining UFC gold.

The Australian fighter has looked impressive lately, picking up back-to-back wins over Darren Till and Jared Cannonier.

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Do you think Robert Whittaker vs. Paulo Costa should be re-scheduled?

A lifelong fight fan from Liverpool, England who has been covering mixed martial arts (MMA) and boxing for several years. Follow @JordanEllisUK on Twitter for all the latest fight news, views, interviews and live event coverage.