Two of the greatest middleweights on Earth are set to battle in a long-awaited bout after this spring, and now I’ll give my initial 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 clash in 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 will be a five-round fight, it’s likely the winner of this bout could be next in line to get a crack in the UFC middleweight title currently held by Robert Whittaker, that fights Kelvin Gastelum in UFC 234 in early February. (Although we do need to keep Israel Adesanya in that dialog as well).
Romero (13-3) is 41-years old, but you would not know it. He’s in incredible physical condition and is fighting an extremely high degree. 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 his UFC victories have come by knockout, and 11 total of his wins have come by knockout. He’s only been stopped once in his entire career, by Rafael”Feijao” Cavalcante back in Strikeforce, and at the UFC he has lost twice, both razor-thin decisions to Whittaker. In a lot of ways it is fair to think about Romero the second-best middleweight in the world behind the Australian champion. But with just two losses to Whittaker, Romero is at precisely the same place as somebody like Stephen”Wonderboy” Thompson in welterweight. Together with different contenders in the mix, Romero needs to keep active and keep winning fights in order to maybe get a third name fight against the Whittaker vs. Gastelum winner.
Costa (12-0) is a perfect 4-0 in the UFC and all his career victories have come by knockout or submission, including brutal knockouts over Johny Hendricks and Uriah Hall in his last two bouts. The Brazilian has been tagged the upcoming big thing by most fans and media, but so far he is still quite unproven against the upper echelon of this UFC middleweight division. At only 27, he’s right in his prime and proceeds to demonstrate a better skill-set each 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 shot pecking order.
This is a superb fight, and also the fact it’s set for five rounds makes it even better. As far as that I favor, I believe you have to label Romero as the favored just based on what he’s accomplished up to now from the Octagon. And of course the fact that when this struggle was initially booked for UFC 230, Romero was initially pegged as the betting favorite ahead of the line was taken down. Costa has looked great lately, though, and he’s got a 14-year age advantage in this fight, but until we see him actually beat a top man it is hard to say he must be favored over any of them. Irrespective of who wins the struggle, this should be an entertaining matchup and it’s the ideal main occasion for the Hispanic crowd in Miami.
Disclaimer: This page includes affiliate links and MMA Odds Breaker will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on the links.
Read more: walker-sports.net