Yoel Romero
Soldier Of God

Cuba

Fight with Costa re-booked
MiddleweightUFC
May 8, 2019
Romero (illness) will take on Paulo Costa in a middleweight matchup at UFC 241 on Aug. 17 at the Honda Center in Anaheim.
ANALYSIS
This is a fight that has long been in the making, as the two had originally been projected to face off at UFC 230 last November at Madison Square Garden. Romero was unable to get medical clearance for that fight following his war with Robert Whittaker, so the two rescheduled for Brooklyn in January, then again for Miami last month. Costa once again was removed due to what was later revealed as a USADA violation that resulted in a retroactive suspension, and he was replaced on the card by Jacare Souza. Finally, Romero was removed from the card as well due to illness, and the two combatants were again left without a fight. Should they follow through with their plans in August, this projects as a close match between two of the world's top fighters at 185 pounds. Costa has rolled over UFC competition en route to a four-fight winning streak -- all of which have been earned via a stoppage within two rounds. He's landed more than eight significant strikes per minute, compared to 3.28 for Romero, though the level of competition has been vastly different. One advantage Romero might have is his wrestling. The Olympic silver medalist took champion Robert Whittaker down three times in his last fight, and Costa has been taken down in the UFC in the past. Whether the 42-year-old "Soldier of God" returns to that tactic is a wild-card factor that could turn the tides of the fight.
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Withdraws from South Florida card
MiddleweightUFC
April 4, 2019
Romero has came down with an illness that forced him to pull out of his April 27 main event fight with Jacare Souza, Ariel Helwani of ESPN reports.
ANALYSIS
Romero, a Cuba native, had been looking forward to fighting in front of a South Florida crowd rich in Cuban heritage, but it will no longer come to pass. Specifics of the illness remain unclear, but it was serious enough for the 41-year-old to withdraw more than three weeks in advance of the fight date. The UFC will now be left looking for a short-notice replacement to fight Souza.
To face Jacare Souza at UFC Miami
MiddleweightUFC
March 7, 2019
Romero (orbital) is slated to fight Jacare Souza at UFC Miami on April 27, ESPN's Brett Okamoto reports.
ANALYSIS
Romero was originally scheduled to fight Paulo Costa on the Miami card, but with "The Soldier of God" dealing with health issues and even taking time off to compete on a reality TV show, there was always quite a bit of uncertainty surrounding the situation. Eventually, the UFC decided to pull the plug on that bout and go in a different direction, despite keeping Romero on the card. Romero took a controversial split-decision victory he first met Souza back in December of 2015. Romero won the striking battle 46 to 30 in that matchup, but Souza was able to take him down and pass guard twice. Romero eventually went on to win that bout, and didn't lose again until he met Robert Whittaker with the belt on the line. He's actually lost two of his last three fights, but those slight title-fight shortcomings were his only two defeats under the UFC banner. While both men in this one are at or near their 40s, this is by far the best non-title middleweight fight the UFC can make at this time.
Rescheduled against Paulo Costa
MiddleweightUFC
January 22, 2019
Romero (orbital) will take on Paulo Costa (undisclosed) at UFC Miami on April 27, Aaron Bronsteter of TSN reports.
ANALYSIS
The pair have already had their fight called off twice, first due to Romero's injury in November and then due to Costa's injury in January. They'll hope for better luck this time around. The 41-year-old Romero has lost two of his last three fights, both against Robert Whittaker. His opponent, the 27-year-old Costa, is undefeated in 13 professional fights, including four with the UFC.
Fight against Paulo Costa called off
MiddleweightUFC
November 7, 2018
Romero (orbital) will no longer fight Paulo Costa (undisclosed) at UFC Brooklyn on Jan. 29, MMAFighting.com reports.
ANALYSIS
Romero was originally scheduled to face Costa at UFC 230 on Nov. 3, but the bout was ultimately postponed after Romero wasn't medically cleared to fight. This time it's Costa who is dealing with an injury. Romero, who is 13-3 as a professional, is hoping to stay on the card and face Anderson Silva, though nothing has been confirmed at this point.
Could be included on UFC 230 card
MiddleweightUFC
September 26, 2018
Romero (orbital) is under consideration for a spot on the UFC 230 card and could face Alexander Gustafsson (hamstring) in a light heavyweight bout, Ariel Helwani of ESPN reports.
ANALYSIS
Helwani notes that a few details need to be worked out before any fight is finalized, but the report at least suggests that Romero is progressing well from the surgery he required last month to repair a broken orbital bone. Like Romero, Gustafsson is also rebounding from an injury of his own, but has previously stated that he hopes to be back in the Octagon before the end of 2018. If the two fighters agree to a matchup, an interim and/or official title would likely be at stake.