15 sep MMA FIGHTERS YOEL ROMERO VS PAULO COSTA HEADLINE UFC ON ESPN 3
Two of the best middleweights around Earth are set to clash in a long-awaited bout after this spring, and I’ll give my first thoughts on the matchup in today’s MMA odds and ends.
Yoel Romero vs. Paulo Costa, UFC on ESPN 3
Top-ranked middleweights Yoel Romero and Paulo Costa will battle at the Primary event of UFC on ESPN 3, which is set for April 27 at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida. The bout was first reported by Combate. It’ll be a five-round fight, it’s likely the winner of the bout could be next in line for a crack at the UFC middleweight title currently held by Robert Whittaker, who fights Kelvin Gastelum in UFC 234 in early February. (Although we do need to maintain Israel Adesanya in that dialog too ).
Romero (13-3) is 41-years old, but you would not know it. He’s in incredible physical condition and can be fighting at an extremely large level. The Cuban wrestling senstation is 9-2 overall in the UFC, with wins over the likes of Luke Rockhold, Chris Weidman, Ronaldo”Jacare” Souza, Lyoto Machida, Brad Tavares and Derek Brunson. Seven of the UFC successes have come by knockout, and 11 total of his wins have come by knockout. He has just been stopped once in his whole career, by Rafael”Feijao” Cavalcante back in Strikeforce, and at the UFC he’s lost two, both razor-thin decisions to Whittaker. In a lot of ways it’s fair to consider Romero the second-best middleweight in the world behind the Australian winner. However, with two reductions to Whittaker, Romero is at the same place as someone like Stephen”Wonderboy” Thompson in welterweight. Together with other contenders in the combination, Romero should keep active and keep winning struggles so as to maybe get a third name fight against the Whittaker vs. Gastelum winner.
Costa (12-0) is a perfect 4-0 at the UFC and all of his career victories have come by knockout or entry, including brutal knockouts over Johny Hendricks and Uriah Hall in his last two bouts. The Brazilian has been labeled the next big thing by many fans and press, but so far he’s still quite unproven against the top echelon of this UFC middleweight division. At just 27, he is right in his prime and proceeds to show a better skill-set each time we see him within the Octagon. No doubt he has looked great against lesser opposition, and when he looks great against Romero and gets the win he’ll be in an enviable position when it comes to the middleweight title taken pecking order.
This is a superb fight, and also the fact it’s place for five rounds makes it better. As far as who I prefer, I think you have to label Romero as the favorite just based on what he’s accomplished so far from the Octagon. Not to mention the fact that when this fight was originally reserved for UFC 230, Romero was initially pegged as the betting favorite ahead of the line was taken down. Costa has looked great recently, though, and he’s got a 14-year age benefit in this fight, but till we see him actually beat a top man it is difficult to say he must be favored over any of them. Irrespective of who wins the struggle, this ought to be a fun matchup and it is the perfect main occasion for the Hispanic crowd in Miami.
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