Rarely will the UFC try to schedule the same one fight four times, but that is reportedly the case with Yoel Romero vs. Paulo Costa.
The two middleweight contenders have verbally agreed to a bout at UFC 241, multiple sources told ESPN’s Ariel Helwani. UFC officials then announced the fight on Tuesday evening.
UFC has previously booked this fight in November, January and April. Most recently, Romero and Costa were expected to headline UFC Fort Lauderdale on April 27. Costa was removed from the card due to Costa’s pending anti-doping violation case with USADA and the New York State Athletic Commission. Costa was replaced by Jacare Souza. Romero was then replaced by Jack Hermansson.
Costa was ultimately suspended for six months for two prohibited uses of intravenous infusion in 2017. He has since completed his suspension. Both parties recently spoke to ESPN after Romero revealed Costa was dealing with USADA.
“Yoel Romero needs to understand this is personal,” Costa told ESPN. “He’s a liar. He’s a Soldier of God? How can he call himself a Soldier of God if he is spreading gossip? He’s a soldier of devil for spreading lies. And he’s going to pay. Now is the time for him to pay.”
Romero’s manager Abraham Kawa told the publication, “We’ve been offered this fight four times now. We’ve now accepted it four times. We couldn’t fight all three previous times because Costa was suspended.”
"We’re hoping there are no suspensions this time and we can actually fight,” Kawa continued. ”Yoel is a man on a mission. He wants to win that belt. He is rejuvenated and feels better than ever.”
UFC 241 will be headlined by a UFC heavyweight title re-match between reigning champion Daniel Cormier and history-making former champion Stipe Miocic.