Just yesterday, it was announced that middleweight phenom Yoel Romero would be out for the UFC 3 on ESPN card set for April 27th due to illness. Just hours later, Paulo Costa has been tipped as the most likely fighter to replace Romero.
Costa was Romero’s original opponent for the fight in late April, but was taken off of the card in early March with no official explanation as to why. Now it appears as if Costa (#7) will be the man to step in for Romero to take on grappling expert Jacare Souza (#3).
Many voices in the MMA community are excited for this potential fight between Souza and Costa, and for good reason. Costa is undefeated so far, going 12-0-0 in his MMA career. Ranked seventh in the Middleweight Division, Costa has had a perfect start to his UFC career, going 4-0 in four fights, knocking out his opponent each time. Costa has 11 career knockouts, with just one of his 12 fights going to a decision.
Stylistically speaking, a middleweight matchup between Costa and Souza would be a must-watch event. Costa gets his job done on his feet. The Brazilian is one of the most feared knockout artists in his division, and has insane hand speed and technique in his boxing.
Jacare Souza has respectable game on the feet, but is a world class Brazilian Jiu Jitsu practitioner, and has shown his dangerous submission game a number of times before in his career. Souza has a MMA record of 26-6-0, with 14 wins coming by submission.
On paper, Souza has the advantage in a matchup with Costa. The takedowns and grappling could potentially wear on Costa, who has yet to prove himself on the group. Costa’s game relies on his hands, which can’t be used when he is on his back. Our early prediction has Souza getting a submission in this huge middleweight matchup. With under a month left until UFC on ESPN 3, stay tuned to americabet.com to keep up to date with all of the pre-fight coverage, predictions, and more.