A couple of the greatest middleweights on Earth are set to battle in a long-awaited bout later this spring, and now I’ll give my initial thoughts on the matchup in the present 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 main 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 probably the winner of the bout could be next in line to get a crack in the UFC middleweight title now held by Robert Whittaker, who fights Kelvin Gastelum in UFC 234 in early February. (Although we need to keep Israel Adesanya in that conversation too ).
Romero (13-3) is 41-years older, but you wouldn’t know it. He is in amazing physical condition and can be fighting an extremely high level. The Cuban wrestling senstation is 9-2 overall from 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 overall of his wins have come by knockout. He has only been stopped once in his whole career, by Rafael”Feijao” Cavalcante back in Strikeforce, also in the UFC he has lost twice, both razor-thin choices to Whittaker. In a lot of ways it’s fair to think about Romero the second-best middleweight in the world behind only the Australian winner. But with two losses to Whittaker, Romero is at the same place as someone like Stephen”Wonderboy” Thompson in welterweight. Together with different contenders in the combination, Romero needs to keep active and keep winning struggles so as to maybe get a third title fight against the Whittaker vs. Gastelum winner.
Costa (12-0) is a perfect 4-0 in 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 tagged the upcoming big thing by many fans and press, but so far he’s still very unproven against the upper echelon of the UFC middleweight division. At only 27, he’s right in his prime and continues to demonstrate an improved skill-set every time we see him within the Octagon. No doubt he’s looked fantastic against lesser opposition, and if he looks fantastic against Romero and has the win he’ll be in an enviable position when it comes to the middleweight title taken pecking order.
This is a great fight, and also the fact it is place for five rounds makes it even better. As far as that I favor, I believe you have to tag Romero as the favored just based on what he has accomplished up to now in the Octagon. And of course the fact that when this fight was initially reserved for UFC 230, Romero was initially pegged as the betting favorite before the line was taken down. Costa has definitely looked great recently, though, and he’s got a 14-year age benefit in this struggle, but until we see him really beat a top guy it is hard to say he must be preferred over any of these. Irrespective of who wins the struggle, this should be an entertaining matchup and it’s the perfect principal occasion for the Hispanic crowd in Miami.
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