A long awaited middleweight showdown between Yoel Romero and Paulo Costa is in the works for UFC 241 on Aug. 17 in Anaheim, Calif.
Sources close to the contest confirmed the news on Tuesday following an initial report from ESPN.
Romero and Costa have danced around fighting each other for several months but injuries and delays have never put them into the Octagon together. That will likely change in August when they square off at UFC 241.
Widely considered one of the best middleweights in the sport, Romero will return to action after a long layoff following a hotly contested fight against current champion Robert Whittaker last June.
In the aftermath of that fight, Romero took time off to heal and also filmed a reality show that put him on the sidelines. Romero was booked to return against Ronaldo ‘Jacare’ Souza in April but he came down with a mild case of pneumonia that forced him out of the fight.
Now Romero is ready to resume his career while facing one of the top up and coming middleweight contenders in the sport.
Undefeated through 12 professional fights, Costa has stormed through the competition in the UFC thus far with four straight wins, all by knockout in the first or second round.
Costa just recently served a six-month suspension enacted by USADA after he used an IV to rehydrate following two past fights in the UFC. Under the UFC’s anti-doping policy, Costa used more than the limit allowed without direct permission from a doctor or after receiving a therapeutic use exemption from USADA.
His suspension actually ended back in February and now Costa will finally get his chance to face Romero in August.
Assuming Romero vs. Costa is finalized, the fight joins the heavyweight title rematch between Daniel Cormier and Stipe Miocic at the top of the card on Aug. 17.