Robert Whittaker going in with bad intentions vs. Paulo Costa, looking to ‘really hurt him’ at UFC 298

Robert Whittaker aims to rebound in emphatic fashion at UFC 298.

Former middleweight champion Whittaker (24-7 MMA, 15-5 UFC) faces Paulo Costa (14-2 MMA, 6-2 UFC) in the Feb. 17 co-main event at Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif.

Whittaker’s most recent loss came to current champion Dricus Du Plessis by TKO at UFC 290. He plans on not only beating Costa, but putting a hurting on him.

“Paulo’s strong, man – he’s a big powerful puncher,” Whittaker told Middle Easy. “He’s a big, strong guy. He’s aggressive. He’s very dangerous. He’s got strong kicks. He’s got strong punches. He’s one of those guys that if you give him space, if you let him fight his fight, he’ll bully you. He’ll take advantage of that passiveness and go after you.

“I do not intend to let him have that. I am going in there with bad intentions. I’m looking to go into this fight to really hurt him. That’s just the mentality I’ve adopted for this fight because I want to get back into that winning circle. I want to utilize the skill sets and the training that I’ve been putting in for this camp, and the best way to do that is through him.”

Whittaker is confident that he has the advantage everywhere. Costa generally imposes his will with his pressure-style of fighting, but Whittaker says he’ll be ready.

“That’s where I’ll beat him – because I’m not intimidated by him,” Whittaker said. “I’m not scared of anything he’s got. I’m better across the board at everything that he is. My headspace going into it is the best it’s been. I’m going in there with bad intentions, and I’m going in there to try and close this fight early. This is this is what I want, and this is what I’m going to make happen.”

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

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie