UFC president Dana White and Paulo Costa seem to have finally reached a mutual understanding. Costa, known for his epic battle against Luke Rockhold at UFC 278 last August, has been absent from competition since then. With one fight remaining on his contract, a matchup against Robert Whittaker at UFC 284 was tentatively scheduled for February. However, negotiations fell through, causing the fight to be canceled.
Now, it appears that Costa (14-2 MMA, 6-2 UFC) and the UFC have come to terms. “Borrachinha” is set to make his comeback against Ikram Aliskerov at UFC 291 on July 29 at Salt Lake City’s Vivint Arena.
Discussing the situation, White expressed, “I think that every fighter we deal with is different in certain ways. Some are easy, some are tougher, but that’s our job, that’s what we do. Our job is to get deals done, and we finally got him dialed in, and it will be fun to see him fight in Utah.”
White further praised Costa’s previous battle with Rockhold, labeling it an “incredible war” that fight fans will always remember. As for the matchup with Aliskerov (14-1 MMA, 1-0 UFC), who has only competed in one UFC fight, White assures fans that it will be an intense and highly entertaining showdown.
“I guarantee you this: He’s fighting a tough guy, and it’ll be a damn good fight,” White stated. “And like I said before, when you’re negotiating and doing deals with fights, you know they’re not as easy behind the scenes as they seem on the surface.”