UFC 241: Romero vs. Costa, a FOTY contender and potential title eliminator
UFC 241 is undoubtedly a stacked card full of talent but perhaps the most interesting fight takes place in the middleweight division between two of the most powerful and destructive men in the division. The highly anticipated bout between Romero and Costa has been on the horizon for what seems like an age with it being constantly rescheduled is finally upon us this weekend.
Yoel Romero has not fought for a year since his gruelling 5 round bout for the Middleweight Championship with Robert Whittaker last summer. A fight many would argue Romero won. Costa, on the other and, an undefeated force in MMA and coming off 4 scintillating knockouts in the UFC has caused this to be one of the most hyped fights on the card.
When approaching this fight it is hard to look past the sheer size of both fighters with Romero and Costa standing at 5’11” and 6’0” respectively and both possessing a physique and the knockout power no other two competitors hold to the same extent in the division. Despite both fighters having an excellent ground game with Romero’s freestyle wrestling background and Costa being a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, I think this fight will most likely take place on the feet. Due to both fighters possessing devastating power they will have to be calculated as they attack to avoid being caught. This I believe is where Romero may possess the advantage by having fought at a higher level for longer which will cause him to be more patient as he waits to capitalise on any openings Costa presents him with and then unleash his devastating power against Costa who will have never fought someone quite like Romero.
What I believe will be important for Costa is for him to press Romero early and hit him with some big shots to the body early on to wear out the gas tank of Romero in the later rounds where Romero notoriously becomes more dangerous in particular in the third round. An aggressive approach for Costa could be ideal by setting a high pace on Romero hoping to catch him and wear him down.
This fight between Romero and Costa could potentially be a fight of the year contender with both possessing devastating knockout power. It will be interesting to see how the veteran Romero shapes up against the new contender Costa as a victory in this bout will put either fighter into contention for a title shot particularly for Romero if Adesanya is to get the Victory at UFC 243.
Written by Sam Billington