Paulo Costa will return to the Octagon on Aug. 21 to take on top-five middleweight Jared Cannonier in the UFC Fight Night 194 main event.
MMA Fighting confirmed the matchup on Wednesday following an initial report by ESPN.
How about some middleweight fireworks for the summer?
(via @bokamotoESPN) pic.twitter.com/q3BQjZQ0QP
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) May 13, 2021
Costa, who hasn’t fought since his crushing TKO loss to Israel Adesanya at UFC 253, was originally expected to fight Robert Whittaker at UFC Vegas 24 but was forced to pull out due to illness. The Brazilian is still #2 in the UFC middleweight rankings despite not having fought in almost a year.
Cannonier, meanwhile, is looking to rebound from his decision loss to ‘The Reaper’ at UFC 254, which snapped a three-fight winning streak. The 37-year-old made his middleweight debut in 2018 after unsuccessful stints at heavyweight and light heavyweight. Cannonier is currently #4 in the UFC middleweight rankings, with standout victories over David Branch, Anderson Silva and Jack Hermansson.
UFC Fight Night: Costa vs. Cannonier will take place on Aug. 21 at a TBA location.
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