A couple of the best middleweights around Earth are set to battle in a long-awaited bout later this spring, and 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 initially reported by Combate. It’ll be a five-round fight, it’s probably the winner of this bout could be next in line for a crack in the UFC middleweight title now held by Robert Whittaker, who fights Kelvin Gastelum at UFC 234 in early February. (Although we do need to maintain Israel Adesanya in that conversation too ).
Romero (13-3) is 41-years old, but you wouldn’t know it. He is in amazing physical condition and is fighting at 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 victories have come by knockout, and 11 total 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 at the UFC he’s lost two, both razor-thin choices to Whittaker. In a lot of ways it is reasonable to think about Romero the second-best middleweight in the world behind only the Australian winner. But with just two losses to Whittaker, Romero is at 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 possibly get a third title fight against the Whittaker vs. Gastelum winner.
Costa (12-0) is a perfect 4-0 at the UFC and all his career victories have come by knockout or submission, such as brutal knockouts over Johny Hendricks and Uriah Hall in his last two bouts. The Brazilian was tagged the next big thing by most fans and press, but so far he’s still quite unproven against the top echelon of the UFC middleweight division. At only 27, he’s right in his prime and proceeds to show an improved skill-set every time we see him inside the Octagon. No doubt he has looked great against lesser opposition, and if he looks fantastic against Romero and has the win he will be in an enviable position in regards to the middleweight title shot pecking order.
This is a superb fight, and the fact it is place for five rounds makes it better. As far as who I favor, I believe you have to tag Romero as the favorite only based on what he has accomplished so far in the Octagon. And of course that when this fight was initially booked for UFC 230, Romero was initially pegged as the betting favorite ahead of the line was shot down. Costa has definitely looked great lately, however, and he’s got a 14-year age advantage in this fight, but till we see him actually beat a top man it’s hard to say he must be favored over any of these. Irrespective of who wins the fight, this ought to be an entertaining matchup and it’s the perfect principal event for the Hispanic audience in Miami.
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