UFC 298 results: Robert Whittaker wins exciting, high-paced striking battle against Paulo Costa

Aside from a scare late in the first round, former champion Robert Whittaker turned in a phenomenal performance in an all-out striking affair against Paulo Costa.

The middleweight bout was the UFC 298 co-main event at Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif., and it was one filled with action from two powerful top-tier fighters. When time expired after three rounds, Whittaker (25-7 MMA, 16-5 UFC) claimed victory over Costa (14-3 MMA, 6-3 UFC) by earning scores of 29-28, 29-28, and 30-27.

From the beginning, it was clear this fight would be filled with hard-hitting action.

Powerful kicks from both started the fight, with Whittaker investing attacks to the legs, while Costa went high. Left hand jabs were also on display early. The pace was fast as Whittaker controlled from the center. The former champ controlled the action by darting in and out with punches, causing Costa to play his counter game or wait for chances between Whittaker’s offerings.

In the closing seconds, Costa uncorked a spinning heel kick that caught Whittaker right on the jaw, wobbling him badly. Somehow, Whittaker made it to the second round.

Whittaker came out in Round 2 with the same plan of attack. Costa smiled as Whittaker cracked him with a hard shot. In response, Costa peppered his jab and circled as blood began to trickle from Whittaker’s nose. Costa’s thumb accidentally poked Whittaker’s eye causing a brief pause, but when the fight resumed, they went right back into the firefight.

Hard leg kicks dug in from Whittaker, affecting Costa’s movement. Whittaker’s counterpunching began to shine in the second half of Round 2 as well.

Just five minutes remained, and the high-paced action continued. Costa chose leg kicks while Whittaker connected with punches upstairs. Costa called for Whittaker to stand in the center of the cage and throw down, but Whittaker kept to his plan. Whittaker’s darting strikes scored well, while Costa loaded up for more powerful strikes. Hard leg kicks from Whittaker also gave Costa trouble as the fight came to a close.

The result marks a return to the win column for Whittaker, who dropped his previous outing to current champion Dricus Du Plessis. Since dropping the title to Israel Adesanya in 2019, Whittaker has built a record of 5-2, maintaining his position among the top guys at 185 pounds.

Up-to-the-minute UFC 298 results include:

  • Robert Whittaker def. Paulo Costa via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)

  • Ian Machado Garry def. Geoff Neal via split decision (30-27, 28-29, 30-27)

  • Merab Dvalishvili def. Henry Cejudo via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

  • Anthony Hernandez def. Roman Kopylov via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 2, 3:23

  • Amanda Lemos def. Mackenzie Dern via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

  • Marcos Rogerio de Lima def. Junior Tafa via TKO (leg kicks, punches) – Round 2, 1:14

  • Rinya Nakamura def. Carlos Vera via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

  • Zhang Mingyang def. Brendson Ribeiro via knockout (punches) – Round 1, 1:41

  • Danny Barlow def. Josh Quinlan via TKO (punches) – Round 3, 1:18

  • Oban Elliott def. Val Woodburn via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)

  • Miranda Maverick def. Andrea Lee via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)

For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC 298.

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie