clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Dana White: Paulo Costa still recovering from surgery, won’t fight Israel Adesanya next

Israel Adesanya vs. Paulo Costa will have to wait, UFC president Dana White said.

Paulo Costa was removed from his scheduled April headliner against former UFC champion Robert Whittaker. Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images

UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya’s first title defense won’t come against Paulo Costa, according to UFC president Dana White.

Costa won’t be able to fight for another eight months after having surgery on his left bicep in September, White said.

“We are working on something else for Israel right now,” White told The Schmo.

Costa’s coach Eric Albarracin told Bloody Elbow on Tuesday that his team hopes Costa will be able to fight sooner than eight months from now.

Still recovering at the time, Costa said last month ahead of Adesanya’s title win over Robert Whittaker that he would be ready to fight by December. Costa was in Melbourne for the highly anticipated bout, which Adesanya won by second-round TKO.

As far as what’s next for Adesanya, White said it won’t be 205-pound champ Jon Jones because Adesanya “just won the title.” Adesanya and Jones have gone back and forth since Adesanya became the undisputed titleholder. It’s worth noting that the UFC 244 co-main event is a middleweight bout between Kelvin Gastelum and Darren Till, so the winner of that bout could be in line for a shot at the belt.

Costa, an undefeated power puncher at 185 pounds, is coming off a split-decision win over Yoel Romero at UFC 241 in August.