Yoel Romero isn’t interested in hostilities outside the cage, or whether Paulo Costa is a clean fighter or not. He’s just ready to go at UFC 241.
Anaheim, CA — You’d be hard-pressed to find a UFC fighter whose career has been more convoluted of late than Yoel Romero. Romero’s last three fights were all for variations of the middleweight title, either interim or undisputed. But in his past two outings, Romero missed weight, turning the fights into non-title affairs.
His most recent contest ended up in a hard-fought loss to champ Robert Whittaker. Yet despite losing the fight and the miss at the scales, Romero isn’t leaving the division just yet. Instead, he returns at UFC 241 to take on rival Paulo Costa, an undefeated Brazilian also out over a year. The pair have been circling one another for a while, with the fight falling through previously.
Costa appeared a bit fired up at Thursday’s UFC 241 media day, and had a few words for Romero. Romero, however, said he doesn’t know the source of Costa’s irritation with him, speaking to Cageside Press. “I don’t know, I don’t know what’s going on, but something happened in the media, but I don’t know. He talking something I think,” Romero said.
The Cuban known as the Soldier of God added that “I don’t have a problem with nobody,” something he says is because “I believe in the respect.” And so Romero would rather focus on the fight, adding that he didn’t know what Costa yelled at him Thursday. “I don’t know. I don’t understand what he say, I don’t know what he say, but I’m here. I don’t care what he say. He say something, but I don’t understand. I really don’t care.”
“I only follow my focus, I follow my goal,” he added.
Some of Costa’s displeasure likely stems from comments Romero made about him allegedly failing a drug test. Asked point-blank if he thought Romero was using performance enhancing drugs, he answered bluntly that “I don’t care. He use or no use I don’t care. I am here.”
Romero, of course, had his own struggles with USADA, but was exonerated recently, awarded millions from a supplement maker. Whch will no doubt allow him to focus on fighting moving forward.
And that was Romero’s general refrain at Thursday’s media day: he was there for Costa, he was focused. Not overlooking him, and that included when asked about Israel Adesanya, who gets the next shot at champ Whittaker. Many see Romero’s wrestling as the key to solving the puzzle that is ‘The Last Stylebender.’
“I’m not thinking about nobody,” Romero answered when asked about that pairing. “I am here. UFC know me. Everybody know me. When the UFC give me one opponent, I take it. I don’t care if it’s Superman, he’s Batman, I don’t care. You come to me, I go with you, because I have the most impressive [person] in the world, the name is God.”
Does that mean he’ll fight Spider-Man too? “For sure, I can fight Spider-Man, Batman, Super-man, who is another hero? Iron Man. I can fight [him] too.”
He does have a prediction for Whittaker vs. Adesanya, however. Calling it a very hard prediction, Romero picked “Robert Whittaker. He’s a dangerous guy.” Yoel would know, having spent a total of fifty minutes locked in the octagon with the champ.
As for who he gets it done against Paulo Costa at UFC 241, Romero was mum. “I don’t know. Only what I know, God [will] stay with me.”
Watch our full interview with Yoel Romero ahead of UFC 241 above!