An unexpected matchup between Middleweights Paulo Costa and Ikram Aliskerov has just been announced for UFC 291, which will take place in Salt Lake City, Utah, on July 29, per Dana White.
This fight takes place in the Middleweight (185 lbs) division.
Paulo Costa is ranked #5 at Middleweight and has a professional record of 13-2 (6-2 UFC). He holds notable victories over Luke Rockhold, Yoel Romero, and Uriah Hall.
Ikram Aliskerov is currently unranked in the Middleweight division. He holds a professional record of 14-1 (1-0 UFC), and has significant wins over Phil Hawes, Mário Sousa, and Nah-Shon Burrell.
Offical odds have yet to be released.
Going into his last bout, Paulo "The Eraser" Costa was looking to rebound from his two-fight losing skid, falling short against the former champion Israel Adesanya via second-round TKO and a competitive unanimous decision to Marvin Vettori. He took on Luke Rockhold at UFC 278 and won a unanimous decision in a fight of the night. "The Eraser" has devastating power at Middleweight and, now has his sights set on newcomer Ikram Aliskerov. He will look to build his winning streak to two by using his striking prowess in the matchup.
Ikram Aliskerov recently burst into the UFC at UFC 288. Making his debut against Phil Hawes, Aliskerov would not fail at capitalizing on the opportunity and secure an absolutely devastating KO, knocking Hawes unconscious in the first round. With just a single UFC victory, Aliskerov will be fighting a top-5 opponent, which speaks to his star potential and skillset. He'll be looking to use all his tools to secure the victory of Costa.
This will be an exciting matchup in the Middleweight division, with the winner nicely falling into the title picture. Who do you have winning? As a member of the Verdict Community, let us know your prediction in the comments below.