UFC Fight Night 143, the first UFC event of 2019 was set to include a main event bout between middleweight contenders Yoel Romero and Paulo Costa. However, according to Ariel Helwani of ESPN, that fight has now been scrapped after Costa suffered a minor injury and it now appears the ‘Soldier of God’ is hoping to fight former UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva.
Why This Fight Makes Sense
Romero (13-3) has only had two defeats in the UFC; both to current UFC middleweight champion Robert Whittaker. You could very well make an argument that the second fight was a draw. The middleweight title picture as of now has the current 185 lbs champion Whittaker rumored to take on No. 4-ranked middleweight Kelvin Gastelum at UFC 234 in February. Romero, who is currently 41 years old, is showing no signs of slowing down. What better way to get back into title contention than with a win over “The Spider”?
Silva hasn’t stepped inside the octagon since February 2017 when he defeated Derek Brunson via unanimous decision at UFC 208. Since then, the former UFC middleweight champion has served a one-year suspension from USADA after failing a drug test which was later determined to come from a contaminated supplement. Silva was cleared to be eligible to return November.
Should Silva accept a fight against Romero, the two middleweight contenders would be headlining UFC Fight Night 143 in Brooklyn. The event will mark its inaugural show on ESPN+. An impressive win could insert either Romero or Silva back into the middleweight title picture. All eyes will be on ESPN after its $1.5 billion deal with UFC as the promotion’s exclusive domestic broadcast partner of non-pay-per-view events.
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