Paulo Costa’s manager claims fight with Robert Whittaker at UFC 299 is a ‘Done Deal’ on their end

Paulo Costa

Paulo Costa has been waiting to hear back from the UFC in regards to a potential middleweight clash with perennial contender Robert Whittaker next year.

That is according to Tamara Alves, Costa’s girlfriend and manager, who told MMA Fighting via text message that they have been eagerly awaiting a response on the potential clash for weeks, seemingly suggesting that Whittaker’s team are the ones who have been dragging their feet on getting the fight signed.

I would like to make it clear, we have been asking for the fight between Paulo and Whittaker for weeks,” Alves wrote.

Whittaker’s representative, Titus Day, offered a different take during an interview with Fox Sports Australia, saying Costa had “vanished” and that the one-time title challenger was “just playing f*cking games again.”

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Alves snapped back at Day’s comments claiming that any delay in negotiations is not the doing of her client.

“I don’t know what was his intention in saying that Paulo is playing games,” she wrote. “If he wants, he can call me and we can talk about what’s really going on without telling lies and assumptions about any athlete.”

Alves claims that Costa vs. Whittaker is a ‘Done Deal’ on their side of things

Tamara Alves also clarified that, while no bout agreement has been signed, “the deal is done” on their end and they are just waiting for the UFC to determine a suitable date for the middleweight clash.

“We’re just waiting for the company answer,” she wrote. “Besides, the UFC 299 on March 9th in Miami is perfect for Paulo, and we already expressed our desire for this date. This will be an exciting fight for the fans!”

Paulo Costa has not competed inside the Octagon since scoring a bizarrely entertaining unanimous decision against Luke Rockhold at UFC 278 in August 2022. The Eraser’ has been booked for two separate fights, including a meeting with Ikram Aliskerov in July and a showdown with Khamzat Chimaev in October, both of which fell through.

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Robert Whittaker’s last appearance came at UFC 290 over the summer. ‘The Reaper’ suffered a second-round knockout to South African standout Dricus Du Plessis. Before the loss to ‘Stillknocks,’ Whittaker’s only two defeats dating back to 2019 came at the hands of two-time titleholder Israel Adesanya.

With ‘The Last Stylebender’ taking an extended break from fighting, Whittaker could find himself back in the title picture should he net himself an impressive win over Costa.