Last week, the mixed martial arts community was shocked to learn about the cancellation of the anticipated match between hard-hitting fighters Romero and Costa in Florida.
While the UFC failed to give the reason behind the abrupt recall, the ‘Soldier of God’ seems to have the answer. The 41-year-old middleweight is now scheduled to rematch Ronaldo Souza at the upcoming UFC on ESPN 3 on April 27.
— MMA Junkie (@MMAjunkie) January 23, 2019
Thinking that third time will be the charm for the long-awaited matchup, the middleweight pair was again booked to
However, the former two-time 185-pound title contender has just revealed that Costa failed a drug test administered by United States Anti Doping Agency (USADA) which apparently erased ‘Borrachinha’ from the match.
“The problem is, what I hear is that Paulo Costa had a positive test for USADA. That’s what happened. That’s what we hear,” said Romero on The Ariel Helwani MMA Show.
“UFC called my manager and told us Paulo Costa is out because he’s positive. Now we need to see another opponent. They say Jacare Souza, and I say okay, I will fight him.”
Do Not Need Doping
Following the interview, Helwani posted a tweet clarifying Romero’s statement; saying that the ‘Soldier of God’ does not want to confirm the report he ‘just heard’ of.
“Re: the Paulo Costa story, Yoel Romero called me immediately after the show to clarify that he had only heard that Paulo Costa failed a USADA drug test but he is not sure if that is accurate at this time,” the sports journalist wrote.
“He said he would never want to accuse anyone before the facts come out.”
While Costa is yet to give his statement on the doping controversy, he did talk about not needing performance-enhancing drugs to boost his play in a prior interview with Tatame.com.
“I’m the Brazilian UFC fighter who gets tested the most by USADA – I never failed (a doping test) and I didn’t this time,” Costa said.
“I don’t need doping to get all the good results I’ve been getting and to be regarded as the new Brazilian star in the sport, like I am. I don’t need these things.”
Featured Image Credit: Instagram/Yoel Romero and Instagram/Paulo Costa