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Marvin Vettori vs Paulo Costa headliner booked for October 23 UFC card

marvin vettori vs paulo costa

Mar 14, 2020; Brasilia, DF, Brazil; Paulo Borrachinha Costa during UFC Fight Night at Ginasio Nilson Nelson. Mandatory Credit: Jason da Silva-USA TODAY Sports

A clash of top-five Ultimate Fighting Championships middleweights in Marvin Vettori vs Paulo Costa is being finalized for a UFC Fight Night event in October.

A deal for Marvin Vettori vs Paulo Costa is almost finalized

News of the long rumored scrap between the two former title contenders being close to official was first

Paulo Costa (@BorrachinhaMMA) vs. Marvin Vettori (@MarvinVettori) is being finalized to headline a UFC Fight Night event on Oct. 23, per multiple sources. Costa’s side wanted it. Vettori’s side wanted it. Let’s have some fun, yeah?

— Brett Okamoto (@bokamotoESPN) August 3, 2021

">reported by ESPN's Brett Okamoto on Monday via his Twitter. The bout is set to headline a card the promotion has planned for October 23.

A couple of weeks ago, the possibility of a booking seemed as strong as ever when Okamoto tweeted an update from Costa's manager Wallid Ismael, about how Team Borrichinha's top priority was a matchup with the Italian star. Soon after, Vettori's manager Ali Abdel-Aziz responded back in a tweet to confirm Team Italian Dream was also up for the fight.

Considering all of that, it comes as no surprise the bout is almost set. Especially, since the pairing makes a lot of sense if both hope to remain in the title hunt. Both competitors are currently ranked in the top-five at middleweight, and each is coming off championship losses to division king Israel Adesanya in their lost Octagon outings.

Fourth-ranked Vettori (17-5) has been far more active than his Brazilian counterpart over the last two years. He had a five-fight win streak heading into his June title fight, before "The Last Stylebender" derailed that and his hopes of winning his first UFC title.

For second-ranked 185-pounder Costa (13-1), returning to the Octagon following his September 2020 knockout loss to Adesanya has been difficult. A variety of health issues canceled two different bookings against Robert Whittaker and Jared Cannonier that the 30-year-old had scheduled for this year. Before his recent loss, Costa had won 10 straight fights.

The UFC's Oct. 23 event does not have an official venue or location set.