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Yoel Romero vs. Paulo Costa set for UFC 230

Middleweight prospect Paulo Costa is getting a massive step up in competition for his next fight, in the form of Yoel Romero.

MLB: Tampa Bay Rays at Chicago White Sox Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports

Having come agonizingly close to defeating current UFC middleweight champion Robert Whittaker, Cuban powerhouse Yoel Romero will now turn his attention to stopping one of the top prospects in his division.

UFC officials announced on Tuesday that Romero will take on Brazil’s Paulo Costa at UFC 230 in New York City. The night’s main card airs live on pay-per-view, with a main event to be announced shortly.

Romero (13-3) is coming off a split decision loss to Whittaker in a thrilling UFC 225 encounter last month. In February, the 41-year-old knocked out Luke Rockhold in the third round, which at this point should be known as “Romero’s Round.” Unfortunately, Romero missed weight for both the Rockhold and Whittaker fights, rendering him ineligible to win the interim title vs. Rockhold, and the actual title vs. Whittaker. Despite consecutive failures at the scale, Romero is staying at 185 instead of moving back up to 205.

Costa (13-0) has finished all of his opponents, including four in the UFC. At UFC 226 earlier this month, he won Performance of the Night honors with a second-round knockout of Uriah Hall. Preceding that was an emphatic second-round beating of ex-welterweight champion Johny Hendricks. With all due respect to Hall and a faded Hendricks, the leap from those guys to Yoel Romero is enormous.

UFC 230 takes place at Madison Square Garden on Saturday, November 3rd. Other fights slated for this event are middleweights Jacare Souza and David Branch, as well as a rematch between former middleweight champion Luke Rockhold and Chris Weidman. Consider UFC 230 to be a major night for the top fighters at 185.

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