Yoel Romero and Paulo Costa were scheduled to meet at the much anticipated UFC 230, but unfortunately Romero withdrew from the bout.
Romero explained to ESPN, the reason for him pulling out of the fight, was because doctors wouldn’t clear him in time to fight, and he needed more time to recover prior to getting back into the octagon after suffering an orbital bone fracture.
The injury came during his super-competitive five round war with current reigning UFC middleweight champion Robert Whittaker a few months back.
Talking with MMA Fighting on Wednesday, Costa stated the UFC is now putting together a January date for the aforementioned bout between he and Romero but contracts have yet to be issued out.
“I think Romero needs more time to train,” Costa said. “He doesn’t want to get knocked out so easily, he wants to have a better chance in a fight with me so he’s buying more time to train. He will get two more months to train. I hope it’s enough for him to be confident enough to get in there instead of postponing this loss.”
Not too long after Romero’s cancellation, fellow middleweight Antonio Carlos Junior volunteered to step in an face his hard-hitting countryman but is already booked to face Elias Theodorou on the UFC Sao Paulo card. Had Junior got his chance to fight Costa, he says he would have shown the world “how our sparring use to go” referring back to their time as training partners.
Costa responded to Junior’s brash comments, stating if he was to fight at UFC 230, it would be an opponent who has got a bit more clout than ‘Care de Sapato’ (Antonio Carlos Junior).
”Fighting in New York and then fighting with Romero would make more sense, but there’s not enough time,” said Costa, who is 4-0 in the UFC with four knockout wins. “And if I were to fight in New York it wouldn’t be against ‘Cara de Sapato’, it would be against an opponent with more prestige than this boy.”