Robert Whittaker vs. Paulo Costa, Geoff Neal vs. Ian Machado Garry set for UFC 298


A pair of marquee fights have officially been added to UFC 298 in Anaheim, Calif.

UFC CEO Dana White took to Instagram to announce that former middleweight champion Robert Whittaker will aim to get back in the win column when he faces one-time title challenger Paulo Costa. The two were originally slated to fight at UFC 284 this past February, but Costa pulled out following a contract dispute with the promotion.

Whittaker, the No. 4-ranked middleweight in the MMA Fighting Global Rankings, was last seen on the receiving end of TKO loss to current No. 1 contender Dricus Du Plessis at UFC 290. Prior to that setback, “The Reaper” pulled off a dominant decision win over Marvin Vettori at UFC Paris in 2022.

Costa, the No. 8-ranked middleweight, has not fought since defeating former champion Luke Rockhold in a thrilling three-round war at UFC 278 in August 2022. “Borrachinha” was expected to face Khamzat Chimaev at UFC 294 this past October before being forced out of the bout with a serious staph infection.

Also, slated for the card is a welterweight contest between Geoff Neal and Ian Machado Garry. The two were originally scheduled to fight at UFC 292 this past August before Neal pulled out due to undisclosed health reasons. They were then rebooked for UFC 299 before finally settling on UFC 298.

Neal, the No. 9-ranked welterweight, is looking to right the ship after being submitted by Shavkat Rakhmonov at UFC 285.

Machado Garry, the No. 12-ranked welterweight, was last seen dominating Neil Magny at UFC 292. He was expected to face Vicente Luque at UFC 296 but he contracted pneumonia and was forced off the card.

The entire event is expected to go down inside Honda Center on Feb. 17. A featherweight title fight between champion Alexander Volkanovski and Ilia Topuria serves as the main event.


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