Paulo Costa has high expectations for himself heading into his UFC 241 fight against Yoel Romero.
The Brazilian has been asking for this fight for a long time and now, after three previous attempts failed, the two will finally meet.
Costa wanted the fight for a simple reason. He believes he can beat Romero easily.
“Yes, I have waited for Yoel Romero for a long time. I got hurt, then he got hurt, but I wanted this fight. I know when I beat Romero my next fight is for the title,” Costa said to BJPENN.com. “But, my focus is on Yoel Romero.”
Although not many people are lining up to fight Romero, Costa believes he matches up well against the Cuban wrestler. He is confident in his striking, and believes he can stuff Romero’s takedown attempts.
“Yoel Romero is a champion in wrestling. But, this is MMA. We aren’t going to fight wrestling. Believe me, I’m going to knock him out. And if he isn’t smart, I’ll take him down and submit him. I just say to Yoel, be careful what you wish for,” Costa explained. “I will fight Romero how I always fight. The first second of the fight I will try to knock him out or even submit him. I will chase him and hunt him inside the Octagon. I’m going to knock him out. It will be in the first round.”
Paulo Costa is also extremely confident in his power. That’s to be expected, as he has won 11 of his 12 fights by knockout.
“Nobody knows how to handle my power. I punch very strong and Yoel is not going to handle it for sure,” he said.
However, Paulo Costa has not fought since UFC 226 in July of 2018. He has been dealing with injuries, but the Brazilian is confident that the time off will not hinder him. He doesn’t believe in ring rust.
“One year I don’t fight but this won’t impact my performance,” he said. “I train like I fight. When I do sparring, it is the same as a fight. In the last two months, I’ve basically had 12 fights as I had 12 sparring sessions. The sparring I have is even harder than the fight. My distance, my timing is great.”
If Paulo Costa does indeed beat Yoel Romero he suspects he will be fighting the winner of Robert Whittaker vs. Israel Adesanya for the title next. He believes the UFC will have no choice but to give him a title shot if he stops the Cuban star.
“No question if I win this I will fight for the title next,” Costa said. “When I beat him — especially in the way I beat him — the only option will be for me to fight for the title. I will beat him so badly, I will fight for the belt next.”
Costa is very excited to be returning to the Octagon, especially on a huge card like UFC 241.
“I’m very happy to fight on a card like this and will give back to the fans who want a big show. This is what they want, a knockout. Never a boring fight. I always fight to put on a show. People can be sure this will be a great fight. This will be a wonderful fight and a war inside the Octagon,” Costa concluded.
Do you think Paulo Costa will knock out Yoel Romero?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 8/14/2019.