Chael Sonnen has expressed doubts about the upcoming UFC 298 fight between Robert Whittaker and Paulo Costa, citing a lack of promotion and Costa’s history of bout cancellations as reasons for his skepticism.
Chael Sonnen’s got a hunch. He’s got this gut feeling that a major fight is about to hit the skids.
UFC 298 is nearly here, folks. One of the most eagerly awaited matchups is Robert Whittaker versus Paulo Costa. That’s what the schedule says, anyway.
On his show, Beyond the Fight, Sonnen’s been speculating. He’s got this weird vibe about the Whittaker-Costa pairing. It’s a feeling he’s had before with other big fights.
So, what about Whittaker and Paulo Costa? Will it go as planned? Sonnen’s been in this game long enough to have a sixth sense about these things. He’s seen fights announced and thought, “Nah, not gonna happen.” And that’s exactly what he’s feeling now.
Remember Jon Jones and ‘Rumble’ Johnson at UFC 187? Sonnen called it. He said that fight wouldn’t happen. And guess what? It didn’t.
Jones and Anthony Johnson were set to headline UFC 187 in May 2015. But then Jones got himself into a hit-and-run mess a month before the event. The UFC stripped him of his title and suspended him. Daniel Cormier stepped in and beat Johnson to claim the belt.
Sonnen’s got his eye on Costa’s track record. Costa’s had a few bouts cancelled in the past. He’s missed fights with Whittaker, Khamzat Chimaev, and Jared Cannonier for various reasons. And a recently cancelled fight with Chimaev hasn’t been rescheduled.
Sonnen’s not sold on Paulo Costa vs. Robert Whittaker. He’s just not feeling it. He doesn’t think they’re gearing up to fight. And when was the last time Paulo Costa fought? It’s important. He was supposed to fight Chimaev on October 22. Usually, if a big fight falls through, they reschedule it.
But that hasn’t happened. Both guys have had time to rest and recover. But no one’s talking about rescheduling that fight. Not even a peep from the promotion.
What’s really got Sonnen worried is the lack of hype from the fighters. He’s not impressed with Whittaker’s salesmanship. And he doesn’t think Costa is doing much to promote the Feb. 17 pay-per-view either.
In Sonnen’s eyes, if you’re a top-tier fighter, you need to know how to promote a fight. But Whittaker and Costa aren’t doing that. He’s not predicting anything, but he’s noticed something. Whittaker and Costa aren’t acting like fighters who are about to face off.