Paulo Costa picked up the biggest win of his career at UFC 241 when he beat Yoel Romero. The win improved his record to a sterling 13-0.
Following the win over Romero, Costa now believes he is the toughest fight in the middleweight division.
“No doubt, Yoel was the toughest guy in the division. Now, I am the toughest guy in the division because I beat him. I’m the toughest fight in the division,” Paulo Costa told BJPENN.com. “For sure, I am going to chase the belt, and I’m going to Australia [for UFC 243] just to see who I am fighting next. The next champion will only be it for a short time after the fight.”
Even though Costa beat Romero, it was the first time he went the distance in his career. Yet, he still is happy with his performance as he knows he beat an elite fighter.
However, Costa says beating the Cuban was not easy as he was a ‘dirty’ fighter.
“I’m very happy with my performance. I thought I could knock out Yoel in the first. But, Yoel was well prepared. Even though I did not get the knockout, I was very happy with my performance,” he explained. “I’m going to come back strong for the title shot. I was supposed to knock Yoel Romero out in the first. When I dropped him, Yoel stood up very fast. When Yoel pointed to the side, he punched me, and couldn’t knock me out or dropped me. I lost balance. Yoel is a dirty fighter, and when I hit him, I hit him in the belly, not the groin. He is one of the dirtiest fighter in the world. It is what it is, I won the fight.”
Although some think Romero won the fight, Costa does not feel the same way. Instead, he believes he won all three rounds and is surprised some think the Cuban won.
“I knew I beat him, so when it went to the distance, I was sure I won the fight. I won the first and second round, the third round was very close. When the fight finished, I thought it was 30-27,” Costa said. “No doubt though, I easily won the first and second round. I was the aggressor and Yoel just played around and didn’t hit me with anything hard.”
In the end, Paulo Costa is glad he got his hand raised and is focused on the title shot. For now, he is back training and ready to continue to prove everyone wrong.
“I never doubted myself to beat Yoel Romero. My entire team knew we could beat him, and beat anyone in the world. I’m a very confident person and know I will be the next champion,” Costa concluded. “I proved people wrong after the last fight, so write it down I will be champion.”
Do you think Paulo Costa is the toughest fight in the middleweight division?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 9/12/2019.