While it is already confirmed that Paulo Costa will no longer see actions at UFC on ESPN+ 3, the reason behind his withdrawal from the main event fight remains a mystery.
Brazilian media outlet Combate reported last January that a rousing middleweight clash between two of the division’s best fighters is expected to headline the promotion’s third offering under the ESPN umbrella, which is expected to be held at the American Airlines Arena in Miami on April 27.
Yoel Romero, who was scheduled to be his opponent in the April event, has claimed during an appearance at Ariel Helwani’s MMA show that Costa has failed a drug test under the promotion’s anti-doping partner, USADA.
With “Borrachinha” already out of the equation, the Nevada-based promotion found a worthy replacement in Jacare Souza to tussle with the Cuban fighter in the headliner.
But the Brazilian behemoth is not letting Romero ruin his image as he broke his silence on the issue, denying Yoel’s accusations.
— SPORTS USA (@sportsusa_net) March 12, 2019
The Paulo Costa vs Yoel Romero middleweight showdown has been scrapped for the third time.
They were scheduled to meet at the UFC on ESPN+ 3 in Miami this April, but multiple reports claimed that Jacare Souza has already replaced the Brazilian in the main event bout.
Romero, who recently appeared at the Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show, claimed that Costa had been flagged by for an anti-doping violation by USADA, which forced him out of the upcoming April bout. (Transcript from MMA Fighting)
“The problem is, what I can hear, is that Paulo Costa, he have the positive test for the USADA. That’s what happened.”
” The UFC called my manager and said Paulo Costa is out because he’s positive. Now, we need to see another opponent. They say, ‘We have ‘Jacare’ Souza,’ I said, ‘OK, I fight him.’”
The veteran MMA journo then later clarified that Romero “only heard that Paulo Costa failed a USADA drug test but he is not sure if that is accurate at this time.”
Allegedly Paulo Costa was flagged by USADA. I am shocked and surprised by this revelation. Paulo Costa is a saint and would never do anything to increase his performance in any way. He’s a natural athlete!!! Just look at him! pic.twitter.com/j6wLYL2iBN
— Jordan Weeden (@JordieWeeds) March 11, 2019
His manager, Wallid Ismail, cleared that the Brazilian middleweight did not fail any USADA test and that Romero’s accusations were all lies.
“There was no failed doping test. It’s not true, there was no doping, he wasn’t caught doing [anything]. That’s a lie. A big lie.”
According to MMA Fighting, Costa said the allegations are “not true” though he did not provide details as to why he is not fighting Romero in Miami.
Meanwhile, “Borranchinha,” told the Brazilian MMA outlet, Tatame, that he remains a clean fighter and does not need doping to become a star.
“I am the UFC’s most tested UFC fighter, I never failed on doping and it was not this time that I failed.”
“I do not need doping to have good results and be named as the new Brazilian star in the sport, as I am. I do not need these things.”
(Featured Image Source: YouTube/MMA Junkie)