The return of Paulo Costa has been delayed once again, as he has withdrawn from an August 21st main event against Jared Cannonier. He has since been replaced by Kelvin Gastelum, per a report from Brett Okamoto of ESPN.
The new fight will headline a UFC “Fight Night” card that does not have a confirmed location at the moment.
Costa has now withdrawn from two main event bouts this year. He was first set to compete in April against Robert Whittaker, but was later pulled from that fight due to illness.
This time, Costa claims he never agreed to the fight despite it being announced by the promotion.
“UFC needs to pay me as [a] main [event] fighter to have [me] fighting in main events … I never signed or locked up that contract. Why ufc announced this fight if didn’t signed? My question too,” said Costa in a series of Tweets on Friday night.
Costa last competed in September, where he was stopped in the second round of a title fight against UFC Middleweight Champion Israel Adesanya.
Gastelum will now be stepping in for Costa for the second time. He took the April booking against Whittaker, losing to the former champ via unanimous decision. The fight was his fourth loss in five fights.
Similarly, Cannonier will be attempting to bounce back from a loss to Whittaker that he took last year. The fight snapped a three-fight winning streak that Cannonier held at the time.
Here is how UFC’s August 21st card looks with the new fight in place:
Bout 9: Jared Cannonier (13-5) vs. Kelvin Gastelum (17-7) (Middleweight)
Bout 8: William Knight (9-2) vs. Fabio Cherant (7-2) (Light Heavyweight)
Bout 7: Chase Sherman (15-7) vs. Parker Porter (11-6) (Heavyweight)
Bout 6: Vinc Pichel (13-2) vs. Austin Hubbard (13-5) (Lightweight)
Bout 5: Alexandre Pantoja (23-5) vs. Brandon Royval (12-5) (Flyweight)
Bout 4: Luis Saldana (15-6) vs. Austin Lingo (8-1) (Featherweight)
Bout 3: Clay Guida (36-20) vs. Mark Madsen (10-0) (Lightweight)
Bout 2: Ramiz Brahimaj (8-3) vs. Sasha Palatnikov (6-3) (Welterweight)
Bout 1: Mana Martinez (8-2) vs. Jesse Strader (5-2) (Bantamweight)