Robert Whittaker has been given a new opponent for his April 17th bout, as now Kelvin Gastelum has taken the place of Paulo Costa. The new middleweight matchup was first reported by Brett Okamoto of ESPN.
The new pairing will headline a UFC card that does not have a confirmed location yet.
News broke on Tuesday that Costa would withdraw from the bout due to illness. The fight was scheduled to be his first matchup after losing a title shot to Israel Adesanya in 2020.
Gastelum is returning after recently breaking a three-fight losing streak. The streak included high-profile losses in the 185-pound division, including fights against Adesanya and Darren Till.
His last fight was in February, where he picked up a decision victory against Ian Heinisch.
Like Gastelum, Whittaker is currently attempting a climb up to another title fight.
Whittaker has picked up two victories since losing his UFC Middleweight Championship in 2019. He earned a decision victory against Darren Till in July, defeating him in a five-round bout. He last competed in October, defeating Jared Cannonier at UFC 254.
Here is how UFC’s April 17th card looks with the new main event in place.
Bout 8: Robert Whittaker (22-5) vs. Kelvin Gastelum (17-6) (Middleweight)
Bout 7: Gerald Meerschaert (31-14) vs. Bartosz Fabinski (15-4) (Middleweight)
Bout 6: Chase Sherman (15-6) vs. Parker Porter (11-6) (Heavyweight)
Bout 5: Tracy Cortez (8-1) vs. Justine Kish (7-3) (Flyweight)
Bout 4: Natan Levy (6-0) vs. Austin Hubbard (12-5) (Lightweight)
Bout 3: Tony Gravely (20-6) vs. Nate Maness (13-1) (Bantamweight)
Bout 2: Jeremy Stephens (28-18) vs. Drakkar Klose (11-2-1) (Lightweight)
Bout 1: Luis Pena (8-3) vs. Alex Munoz (6-1) (Lightweight)