The middleweight matchup between Paulo Costa and Ikram Aliskerov at UFC 291 appears to have been cancelled.
Costa has dropped out of the competition, so Ikram Aliskerov will face a different opponent, claims @judobetter995. Roman Dolidze has stepped up, which will be a difficult assignment given that he will now be competing in Salt Lake City, Utah, at altitude and on 12-days’ notice.
The story was confirmed by reliable sources in Aliskerov’s camp, according to @judobetter995, who wrote:
“My inside source just told me that Costa vs Ikram is not going to happen and UFC are looking to book…Dolidze Vs Aliskerov…Nothing official but info comes from Ikram’s camp so I’m sure it’s true.”
My inside source just told me that Costa vs Ikram is not going to happen and UFC are looking to book— ჯუდოჩად (@judobetter995) July 17, 2023
Dolidze Vs Aliskerov
Nothing official but info comes from Ikram’s camp so I’m sure it’s true. pic.twitter.com/9Q1OAXIS5W
Dolidze, who recently lost a unanimous decision to former championship challenger Marvin Vettori, will be seeking to rebound in the middleweight class. His four-fight winning streak—which had included three straight KO/TKO victories and Performance of the Night bonuses—was ended with the defeat.
The original fight was a highly anticipated one because it would be the Dagestani’s first opportunity to face a top middleweight after a successful promotional debut. Unknown as to why ‘Borrachinha’ was kicked out of the event, he seemed to be happy with the new contract he had signed with the UFC.
When did Paulo Costa last play in a match?
In his most recent contest, Paulo Costa defeated former middleweight champion Luke Rockhold by majority decision at UFC 278 in August of last year.
Both fighters received a post-fight bonus for Fight of the Night since it was such a fun bout. After the fight, Rockhold declared his retirement and cut ties with the promotion, and ‘Borrachinha’ underwent hand surgery that would keep him out of action for the rest of 2022.
Since then, the Brazilian fighter and the corporation have been engaged in a dispute over his contract as well as the postponement of their bout that was supposed to take place against the former middleweight champion Robert Whittaker. It is unfortunate for him because it appeared that the issues with the promotion had been resolved; however, they were not.