Former UFC middleweight champion, Robert ‘The Reaper’ Whittaker has shot down recent title challenger, Paulo ‘The Eraser’ Costa’s calls for a fight upon his return next year, insisting his reluctance to switch his attention from a title shot.

Riding a two-fight rise since his middleweight championship unification defeat to incumbent best, Israel ‘The Last Stylebender’ Adesanya, fan-favourite, Whittaker has taken two ‘Fight Island’ decision wins over former welterweight title challenger, Darren ‘The Gorilla’ Till, and knockout ace, Jared ‘The Killa Gorilla’ Cannonier this year.

The Australian striker, who retained the #1 rank at 185-pounds with his UFC 254 co-main event win over Texan, Cannonier in October, seemed to be in line for a middleweight title re-run with Adesanya, however, UFC president, Dana White revealed Whittaker had turned down the opportunity to meet Adesanya again, thus allowing the City Kickboxing mainstay to challenge, Jan Blachowicz for the 205-pound throne.

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Whittaker has recently refuted these claims from promotional head-honcho, White, explaining how the longtime organizational leader had twisted” his words.

Belo Horizonte knockout ace, Costa suffered his first professional loss to Adesanya in their UFC 253 main event in September, dropping a largely one-sided second-round knockout loss to the brash counter striker.

Hoping to return to the Octagon with a bang next year, Costa offered to clash with Whittaker on his official Twitter account recently.

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“”Hey Robert Whittaker enjoy your end of year, you deserved (sic). When you come back we can do (sic) amazing fight.

Speaking with MMA Junkie recently, Whittaker spoke of Costa’s invitation to the Octagon, explaining how he’s just focused on clashing with Adesanya once more, rather than pairing with the Brazilian who has lost his last UFC outing.

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“”The only real logical fight for me right now is Izzy (Israel Adesanya),” Whittaker told. “I’ve held this spot as [number] one twice now in the last four, five months, and that’s a fight he (Paulo Costa) just lost his contention to the title. That’s really the only fight that I am interested in at the moment. It’s very hard for me to be interested in anything else.