Second-ranked middleweight fighter Yoel Romero is slated to lock horns with rising star Paulo Costa in the main event of UFC on ESPN 3, a report claimed.
Brazilian media outlet Combate reported on Tuesday 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.
— MMAjunkie (@MMAjunkie) January 23, 2019
The UFC first booked Yoel Romero and Paulo Costa in November for the UFC 230, but the contest did not materialise as the Cuban sensation withdrew from the fight due to injuries he sustained from his previous bout.
MMA fans had another chance to witness a gigantic clash between the two middleweight contenders as they were targeted for the recently-concluded UFC on ESPN+ 1, but this time it was the young Costa who was ruled ineligible to fight because of injury.
Third time will be the charm for UFC and the middleweight pair as they are slated to headline the promotion’s third offering at ESPN, with The Magic City playing host to this barnburner affair. After the Brazilian media outlet, Combate, reported the news, UFC officials confirmed to MMA Junkie that the promotion plans to put the Romero vs Costa fight in the main event of UFC Miami.
The 41-year old Romero is currently holding a 9-2 win-loss record at UFC. He last saw actions in the Octagon back in June last year, where he starred in an instant classic with current champion Robert Whittaker – a title fight dubbed as one of the best of all-time.
The “Soldier of God” and the Australian champ went to an all-out war, with both fighters refusing to quit despite losing so much energy, but it was Whittaker who prevailed after the final bell, winning via a split decision.
Romero’s most recent win was against Luke Rockhold at UFC 221. He knocked out the American in the third round only but was deemed ineligible to secure the interim middleweight title for missing weight.
Meanwhile, Brazilian fighter Paulo Costa is looking to extend his winning streak to five fights after winning the first four outings in his young UFC career. At 4-0, he is set to face the biggest acid test of his career against the Olympic silver medalist.
“Borrachinha” earned the Performance of the Night honour at UFC 226 in July for his second-round knockout of Uriah Hall. His first three wins versus Johny Hendricks, Oluwale Bamgbose, Garreth McLellan were also via technical knockout.
What do you think of this match-up? Can Yoel Romero bounce back from his previous loss? Or will Paulo Costa continues to surge?
(Featured Image Source: Instagram/Paulo Costa and Yoel Romero)