It hasn’t been long that the UFC has been on ESPN, but it looks like the third UFC on ESPN card has found a headline fight. According to Combate, a fight between heavy hitting middleweights Yoel Romero and Paulo Costa is being targeted by the UFC, and no matter who comes out on top, there’s almost a guaranteed knockout in that matchup.
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It’s also a classic matchup between an older star and a rising young talent, but this time, the younger fighter has an undefeated record on the line. It’s not often that an MMA fighter’s undefeated record lasts this long, but Costa has made it to 12-0 and the #7 spot in the divisional rankings without taking a loss. His last two wins are Uriah Hall and Johny Hendricks, showing that Costa can handle big time competition, and every one of his 12 career fights has ended by finish. All except one came by KO or TKO, with the exception being a rear-naked choke submission victory.
However, Costa hasn’t faced a fighter like Yoel Romero before. Romero has a 13-3 record and is the #1 contender at middleweight for good reason. While Romero has lost two out of the last three, both were close fights against champion Robert Whittaker. An argument could also be made that Romero won the second bout, depending on what you look for when scoring a fight. While Costa has an undefeated record on the line, there’s also a lot on the line for Romero, who could earn a trilogy fight by defeating one of the UFC’s fastest rising stars.
This matchup was originally scheduled for UFC 230 but never happened due to injuries from Romero’s previous fight, a loss against Whittaker. Because of that, Costa hasn’t fought since his win over Uriah Hall in July. This targeted return fight would take place on April 27, in Miami for UFC on ESPN 3. With the event still months away, the fight has not been officially confirmed, nor have any other fights been added to the card. Still, the talks of this fight happening give fans something to look forward to in April, as this shapes up on paper to be one of the fights of the year in terms of excitement.
Sports writer and photographer in Buffalo, originally from Jersey. Fan first.