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‘Give to people what peoples wants’ - Paulo Costa shares fan poster for Nick Diaz fight at UFC 289

With one fight still remaining on his UFC contract, it seems middleweight top contender Paulo Costa might be eyeing a bout against the former Strikeforce champion.

Paulo Costa defeated Luke Rochold in August 2022.
Paulo Costa defeated Luke Rochold in August 2022.
Photo by Alejandro Salazar/PxImages/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Having recently missed out on an opportunity to face fellow top middleweight contender Robert Whittaker at UFC 284, Paulo Costa looks like he might be eyeing another opponent closer to the twilight side of their career. Having defeated former champion Luke Rockhold back at UFC 278, the Brazilian recently helped promote the idea of a bout against ex-Strikeforce welterweight champion Nick Diaz.

On his personal Twitter account, Paulo posted a fan-made poster of a potential UFC 289 card, featuring former double champion Conor McGregor against Michael Chandler as the headliner. Meanwhile, ‘Borrachinha’’s fight against Diaz would be the co-main event of the evening.

Is he trolling, is he for real? Costa’s propensity for buffoonery meant the former title contender had to work extra hard to even convince fans that he had in fact withdrawn from his fight with Whittaker.

UFC 289 still does not have a scheduled date or location according to the UFC’s official calendar, which only shows pay per view cards up to UFC 287, on April 8. In fact, at this point, no bouts have been announced for the potential fight card at all.

Meanwhile, Diaz (26-10-2 NC) has not won a fight since an October 2011 unanimous decision win over B.J. Penn. After a six year hiatus away from MMA competition, Diaz returned in 2021 for a bout against fellow legend and former foe Robbie Lawler, losing that fight via TKO in the 3rd round. After the loss, the onetime UFC title contender hinted at frustrations with his preparation for the bout, however coaches and teammates have been bullish on the idea that the 39-year-old still has more fights in him.

“He’s been out here training again, which was good, because he wasn’t really training for the last camp,” Jake Shields said of Diaz earlier in January. “So he’s back out here. Not training crazy hard, but the fact that he’s back in the gym, training every day, much better head space, is great.”