UFC 298: Robert Whittaker Calls Win Over Paulo Costa as ‘Oyster’ as Potential Israel Adesanya Trilogy Gets Outlined in Ex- Champ’s Confession- “No Bad Blood”

Published 02/08/2024, 9:31 PM EST

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Robert Whittaker is one of the greatest middleweights in UFC history. The former interim middleweight champion lost to then-champion Israel Adesanya in both of their fights in 2019 and 2022. With the clock on the 33-year-old’s career ticking down, and his recent form, he will be hoping to make a statement in his next fight.

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Whittaker is gearing up to face the younger, hungrier promising middleweight contender Paulo Costa on February 17 at UFC 298 in Anaheim, California. And ahead of this fight, he spoke to ESPN MMA about it and a possible trilogy against ‘Izzy’.

Robert Whittaker focused on Costa for now

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In their first encounter at UFC 243, Adesanya caught the Kiwi with a perfect counter left hook in the second round to retain his title. Their UFC 271 rematch, however, was a different story. Having learned from their previous bout, Whittaker came back stronger and gave Adesanya a better fight. Whittaker fell short once again and lost a unanimous decision to the Kiwi-Nigerian.

On being asked if he saw a trilogy with the former champion on the horizon, however, he clarified that he was focused on defeating Costa and not thinking about the trilogy. He said that he would look at the trilogy after dealing with Costa.

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“There’s a good rivalry [with Adesanya] there but there’s no bad blood. Honestly I’m just focusing on beating Costa. I beat Costa, honestly, the world is my oyster I kind of thing and [then I] can kind of go any which way. So my focus on just coming back to form, beat Costa and then I’ll have a look at things then,” Whittaker said.

And as he sets up to face the Brazilian, this might be a consequential fight that determines the course of the rest of his career.

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Costa fights a crossroads for Whittaker

Robert Whittaker is coming off two losses in his last three fights, his last being a second-round knockout at the hands of now-middleweight champion, Dricus Du Plessis. His next fight is an important one for him as a victory over ‘Borrachina’ would see him be in the driver’s seat and be in the title shot. A loss, however, will certainly get fans to question if it was time for him to retire and if he could hang in there with the top guys in the division.

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While the fans are excited to see Whittaker vs Adesanya showdown, Whittaker himself is taking things one fight at a time. His all-momentous bout against Costa will determine a lot of things, including if he is in a position to have a trilogy with Adesanya.

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Written by:

Kanishk Thakur

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One take at a time

Hi, I am Kanishk and I am a UFC Writer at EssentiallySports. I love telling the stories of these magnificent fighters and this wildly unpredictable sport that is so frustrating and yet so joyous at the same time. I never really used to watch MMA, thinking it too crude or brutal a sport to deserve respect.
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Edited by:

Joyita Das

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