UFC targeting Yoel Romero-Paulo Costa middleweight matchup in April


The UFC is targeting a middleweight matchup between Yoel Romero and Paulo Costa to headline an event in April, pending Romero’s availability coming off a Spanish-language reality show.

Brazilian news outlet Combate first reported the potential matchup, and multiple sources confirmed to ESPN the fight will likely headline UFC Fight Night on April 27. The event is expected to take place at AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami and will air on ESPN.

The bout is not yet finalized, however, as Romero is currently in the Dominican Republic filming an elimination-style reality show titled “Exathlon.” According to Romero’s management, the 41-year-old is unreachable at this time. The bout could be finalized as early as next month, however.

The UFC has been interested in this particular matchup for months. It tried to book it at UFC 230 in November, but Romero was not ready within that time frame. The bout was also discussed for UFC Fight Night on Jan. 19, but failed to come together.

Romero (13-3) suffered a split-decision loss to current champion Robert Whittaker at UFC 225 in June. Technically, the five-round fight was not a title fight for Romero, because he missed weight the week of the contest. He has lost to Whittaker twice in the past 18 months.

Originally from Cuba and now fighting out of South Florida, Romero is 9-2 overall in the UFC.

Costa (12-0) is considered one of the hottest prospects in the UFC. The 27-year-old has recorded finishes in all 12 of his professional bouts, including four inside the Octagon. He is coming off a second-round TKO against Uriah Hall in July.

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