Paulo Costa and Yoel Romero are set for all-out war on the main card of tomorrow’s UFC 241.
It’s a pivotal fight at 185 pounds given that it could decide the next title contender, yet it seems to be flying under the radar a bit. That’s due to the fact Daniel Cormier vs. Stipe Miocic and Anthony Pettis vs. Nate Diaz grace the top of the awaited pay-per-view (PPV) card.
But Costa vs. Romero is a slugger’s dream nonetheless, and one that also brings a heated backstory with it. Much of that centers around Costa’s now-expired USADA suspension for using banned IVs in 2017. Romero was at the center of the strange situation when he claimed Costa had been forced out of their fight due to using banned substances. That was true from a certain point of view, but Costa took offense to Romero’s words on air.
Because of that, Costa told Submission Radio (via Yahoo Sports) that the fight is personal for him. The hulking Brazilian said it’s Romero who is the ‘dirty’ fighter, so he’ll make him pay tomorrow night:
“It’s personal for me. It’s personal because he talked a lot of s— about me. He is a dirty guy. He is a dirty guy and I want to make him pay for all of this on Saturday and I will. I will make him pay.”
If he is able to make Romero pay, Costa could be on track for a middleweight title shot. The belts will be unified when champion Robert Whittaker takes on interim champ Israel Adesanya in the massive UFC 243 main event this October. Costa claims he’ll knock Romero out, then fly to Australia to find out his next foe:
“After this fight, I beat Romero, knock him out, I want to take this flight to Australia, across the world, and I will be there in the first line watching my next opponent, Adesanya or Robert Whittaker.”
As for whom he hopes is victorious, he doesn’t have a preference. He thinks he can defeat both, and even on the same night if he had to:
“I don’t care who, but I will beat both. I can beat both in the same night.”
Can Paulo Costa return to defeat the true elites of the UFC middleweight division?