While a proposed clash with Paulo Henrique Costa has fallen through for a second time, Yoel Romero still has designs on headlining the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s debut on ESPN+.
Although the pairing wasn’t officially announced, Romero and Costa were expected to headline a UFC Fight Night card on ESPN+ in Brooklyn on Jan. 19. However, Costa withdrew from the contest after suffering an undisclosed injury in training. “The Soldier of God” and Costa were originally scheduled to meet at UFC 230, but Romero hadn’t been cleared to compete from a fractured orbital suffered at UFC 225 in June.
Romero announced via Instagram that he is awaiting on opponent for the Jan. 19 card. During an appearance on "Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show on Monday, he indicated that Anderson Silva would be his preferred matchup.
Silva hasn’t fought since taking a controversial decision over Derek Brunson at UFC 208 in February 2017. The soon to be 44-year-old former champion is coming off a one-year USADA suspension due to a contaminated supplement. His sanction officially ended on Nov. 10.
Romero has won nine of his 11 UFC appearances, with his only two defeats coming at the hands of Robert Whittaker. The Cuban wrestler missed weight for his last two middleweight bouts, but it appears that he will remain at 185 pounds for the time being.