Yesterday during an appearance on the Ariel Helwani MMA Show, UFC middleweight Yoel Romero revealed the reason he’d heard he wasn’t fighting Paulo Costa on April 27 was simple. Costa had been flagged by USADA.
The Cuban went on to say that he didn’t want to point any fingers until he knew for sure, but repeated that he’d heard Costa had been flagged for an anti-doping violation by the UFC’s anti-doping partner, and as such Romero would be facing Jacare Souza instead.
Now, both Costa and his manager have denied Romero’s words, with Costa’s manager Walid Ismail telling MMAJunkie: “He didn’t test positive for anything – that’s it for now.”
And according to Costa, while he’d rather the UFC reveal the reason he isn’t fighting Romero in Florida next month, he’s emphatic that he’s not cheating with performance enhancers.
In an interview with Tatame, Costa denied an anti-doping violation was the cause of his withdrawal and said the truth about his situation would eventually be revealed by the UFC.
“I’m the Brazilian UFC fighter who gets tested the most by USADA – I never failed a test, and I didn’t fail this time,” Costa said, speaking with Brazilian outlet Tatame. “I don’t need doping to get all the good results I’ve been getting and to be regarded as the new Brazilian star in the sport like I am.”
“I am the UFC’s most tested UFC fighter, I never failed on doping and it was not this time that I failed,” Costa said, speaking with Brazilian outlet Tatame. “I do not need doping to have good results and be named as the new Brazilian star in the sport, as I am. I do not need these things.”