Robert Whittaker closing as betting favorite to beat Paulo Costa in UFC 298 grudge fight in March

Robert Whittaker closing as betting favorite to beat Paulo Costa at UFC 298

Finally expected to make his long-anticipated return to the Octagon at UFC 298 in March, former undisputed middleweight champion, Robert Whittaker is hotly-closing as a short betting favorite to beat former title challenger, Paulo Costa in their grudge fight.

Whittaker, a former undisputed middleweight titleholder, and current number three ranked divisional contender, has been sidelined since he featured on the main card of UFC 290 back in July of last year during International Fight Week, suffering a shocking second round TKO loss to incoming UFC 297 headliner, Dricus du Plessis.

As for Belo Horizonte native, Costa, the former title chaser and current number six ranked challenger, has yet to feature in the Octagon since 2022, most recently beating former undisputed middleweight kingpin, Luke Rockhold in a unanimous decision effort, snapping his two-fight losing skid.

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And following a host of fight fallouts – namely against the above-mentioned, Whittaker, Brazilian favorite, Costa is set to fight at UFC 298, however, is closing as a betting underdog. 

Robert Whittaker betting favorite to beat Paulo Costa at UFC 298

Closing as a betting underdog – drawing odds of +154 ahead of his scheduled return to the Octagon, Costa was initially expected to fight Robert Whittaker at UFC 294 back in February of last year ‘Down Under’, however, failed to pen official bout agreements for a middleweight clash.

And slated to then compete against unbeaten middleweight contender, Khamzat Chimaev at UFC 294 back in October of last year in Abu Dhabi, UAE, Costa withdrew from the bout with the Chechen rival due to a nasty bursitis infection in his elbow – which required multiple surgery procedures in order to address.

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Without a victory since the premier UFC Fight Night Paris card back in 2022, Robert Whittaker’s most recent win came in the form of a unanimous decision shutout victory over common-foe and former title chaser, Marvin Vettori in a trip to France.

Promoted to the undisputed middleweight titleholder following the official vacating of former two-weight gold holder, Georges St-Pierre, Whittaker turned in a pair of memorable wins over veteran fan-favorite,Yoel Romero during the Cuban powerhouse’s pomp.

Also set for an eye-catching UFC 298 card, undisputed featherweight champion, Alexander Volkanovski headlines in a title fight against unbeaten Georgian contender, Ilia Topuria in the promotion’s return to Anaheim, California. 

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Furthermore, a potential bantamweight title eliminator is on deck as former two-weight champion and Olympic gold medal winner, Henry Cejudo returns in a clash with another Georgian talent, the streaking, Merab Dvalishvili. 

Attempting to earn a bantamweight title fight, the pair are sure to have a keen eye on the main event of UFC 299 in April, as polarizing star, Sean O’Malley takes on Ecuadorian favorite, Marlon Vera in his first attempted defense of the bantamweight crown – as the two share the Octagon for the second time since a 2020 grudge match. 

Who wins in the UFC 298 grudge fight: Robert Whittaker or Paulo Costa?