Despite the promotion announcing the matchup for Perth, Australia on the February 11th (12th local time) pay-per-view card, Costa claims he’s yet to sign, or even receive a contract for the bout.
“This fight is one of my favorite fights that I wanted to make – because I appreciate the fighter that Robert is,” Costa revealed on the Submission Radio podcast recently. “He’s very good. Since I saw him fight, I thought ‘I want to fight this guy because he’s savage,’ you know. He puts a lot of desire in his fights. So it should be a great fight, and I’d love to make that fight… But I don’t have any deal to do this fight. This is the bad part. I want to do this fight, but I don’t have a deal.”
So what’s the holdup? On the UFC’s end, things seem unclear unclear; but Costa has been vocally unhappy about his compensation from the organization over the past year. He says he’s currently waiting on an updated contract from UFC brass before he formally agrees to the bout.
“I have spoken with (UFC executive) Hunter (Campbell) some weeks ago – I think one week or two weeks ago – about my terms, my contract, not to fight Whittaker yet, but just because I have one fight more to fight to compete in UFC. And we just agreed my payment was so low. I have got this same payment since 2017, so it’s crazy, and I have fought the top five guys and I get money as a beginner. So he agreed. He said, ‘Yeah, it’s totally out of date – we need to update this.’
“But after that, they announced that fight against Robert. But I didn’t see any contract in my mail, on my table. I have nothing yet. I’m just waiting for Hunter to make his offer because he said, ‘OK, we’ll make another offer and you see what you think about it.’ You understand? I cannot still fight for free, bro. The time for fighting for free has gone. I love MMA, but I cannot just fight for the love. I have bills to pay.”
Costa’s would-be opponent, Whittaker, is yet to comment on the situation.
The AllStar MMA roundup
- Pro Tips: `Moicano wants money!’ How to make UFC post-fight speeches
- The AllStar MMA Live: UFC Vegas 65 Reaction, Recap
The best of the rest
- Francis Ngannou opens up on knee injury prior to UFC 270: ‘Everything was designed for me to fall’ – MMAJunkie.com
- Cain Velasquez granted permission to participate in pro wrestling match in Arizona under conditions from the court – MMAFighting.com
- Colorado Springs shooter’s father once fought in the UFC – BloodyElbow.com
- Taila Santos accuses Valentina Shevchenko of ‘running’ from rematch: ’She’s scared’ – MMAFighting.com
- MJF and Pimblett beef over dangers of MMA vs. pro wrestling – MMAFighting.com
Cyril Gane perks up at the mention of a heavyweight title:
Don’t let anyone tell you BJJ is impractical in real life:
Aljo on Henry and his weight:
Yoel Romero re-ups his deal with Bellator:
Jared Vanderaa teases a division drop:
And enjoy whatever this is:
The morning view
JHK chats with Julian Erosa ahead of his fight at UFC Vegas 66:
How Paddy plans to lost 50lbs for UFC 282:
Grudges that didn’t end in the ring:
Luke Thomas and Brian Campbell react to Usman Nurmagomedov’s Bellator lightweight title win:
- Umar Nurmagomedov to fight Raoni Barcelos at UFC Vegas 67 on January 14th (per Brett Okamoto)
- Roman Dolidze to replace Derek Brunson opposite Jack Hermansson at UFC Orlando on December 3rd (per Brett Okamoto)
- Drew Dober to fight Bobby Green at UFC Vegas 66 on December 17th (per ESPN)
- Alessandro Costa to replace Brandon Royal (injured) opposite Amir Albazi at UFC Vegas 66 on December 17th (per Carlos Legaspi)
- William Knight to fight Marcin Prachnio at UFC event on February 18th (per Nolan King)
- None to note
- Dan Ige to fight Damon Jackson at UFC Vegas 67 on January 14th (per Against the Fence)
UFC Roster Watch
Fighters removed this week:
- Frankie Edgar
- Ramona Pascual
Fighters Added this week:
- Gaston Bolanos
Credit to UFC Roster Watch
On this day in MMA…
On the 23rd of November, 2019, Michael ‘Venom’ Page earned the 12th first-round stoppage of his 17-fight career in front of a hometown crowd at Bellator London at the SSE Arena in London, England.
Page, who’s only blemish on a 16-fight resume at that point came opposite future Bellator welterweight champion Douglas Lima in 2019, was on the bounce back. He’d won two straight since that loss in impressive fashion and was beginning another run.
He made short work of the 13-4 Gianni Melillo that night. The crowd, chanting clearly in support of the Englishman, was treated to a truly classic ‘MVP’ right-hand walk-off knockout less than two minutes into the opening frame. The arena erupted as Page took a victory lap sporting an ecstatic grin.
Following this highlight win, Page would go on to amass a six-fight win streak in Bellator’s 170-pound division, even getting his revenge on the aforementioned Lima, which culminated in an eventual shot at the interim welterweight title in May of 2022. It was a fight the Englishman ultimately lost on the judges’ scorecards in one of the most controversial split decision rulings seen this year.