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Paulo Costa: Robert Whittaker should fight Jared Cannonier in UFC middleweight title eliminator

Ahead of his first UFC title shot, Paulo Costa sees a particular way the middleweight division could play out.

Costa (13-0 MMA, 5-0 UFC) challenges champion Israel Adesanya (19-0 MMA, 8-0 UFC) in the main event of UFC 253 on Sept. 19, which still does not have an announced location. The division is stacked with contenders who are vying for a title shot, and several matchups have recently helped clear that picture up.

Jack Hermansson scored a first-round submission over Kelvin Gastelum at UFC on ESPN+ 30, and former champ Robert Whittaker got back to the win column with a unanimous decision over Darren Till in the UFC on ESPN 14 headliner.

But considering Jared Cannonier scored a second-round knockout over Hermansson last September, Costa thinks Whittaker (21-5 MMA, 12-3 UFC) should fight Cannonier (13-4 MMA, 6-4 UFC) to determine who’s next in line for a title shot.

“We have maybe three guys in line waiting for the winner of my fight,” Costa told MMA Junkie. “I don’t know what Dana White will do to solve that problem, but maybe a title eliminator can be good. We have Rob, Jared – I believe Rob and Jared need to fight to see.”

Costa was not impressed by Whittaker-Till and shared those by calling it an “ugly fight.” While most spectators were raving at the technique display, Costa was expecting more from both guys.

“Not really good,” Costa said of the fight. “I was waiting for more action.”

Another middleweight clash that’s coming up on August 22 pits two of Costa’s former foes – Yoel Romero and Uriah Hall. Costa already beat both guys but is intrigued by the stylistic matchup.

“Interesting fight,” Costa said. “If Romero comes to fight, I believe it can be a very good fight. Both guys I beat in different ways. Uriah Hall is very fast, he has good striking skills, and Romero is a kind of guy who’s more grappling, but he’s tough. It’s not easy to knock him out. Interesting fight. I want to see that fight.”

Neil Magny vs. Robbie Lawler booked for Aug. 29 UFC event after Geoff Neal suffers health scare

Neil Magny won’t be fighting Geoff Neal on Aug. 29. Magny (23-7 MMA, 16-6 UFC) and Neal (13-2 MMA, 5-0 UFC) were expected to square off at the UFC’s Aug. 29 at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas. However, Neal recently suffered a health scare leading to hospitalization in...

Video: UFC 252 ‘Countdown’ for Stipe Miocic vs. Daniel Cormier 3

Did you miss the debut of “UFC 252 Countdown” or just want to watch it again? Check out the main event preview now. The segment takes an in-depth look at the heavyweight championship main event, with the trilogy between Stipe Miocic (19-3 MMA, 13-3 UFC) and Daniel Cormier (22-2...

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