At UFC 241, Paulo Costa picked up the biggest win of his career, defeating Yoel Romero by unanimous decision — but it didn’t come easy. Romero gave Costa everything he had, and according to Costa, the Cuban also relied on a few “dirty” tactics.
“He’s a nice guy, but he’s dirty,” Costa said on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show (h/t MMA Junkie). “In the first round, when I make a hook in his face, he went down then got up very quickly. I say man I will knock him out in the first round because he feel my punch, my first punch, and I started hunting him in the Octagon. And when I close to knock him out, he point on something, anywhere, I don’t know. Like look there Paulo, and I lose concentration, because he point something, maybe his mouthpiece fall.
“And I’m not a dirty guy. I try to fight clean and when he point something, like maybe a mouth piece down. I think man, maybe something happened. So I lose my concentration, and he punched my face. But he missed my face and hit my neck, and I lose my balance, and I fall, so this is one thing.”
Paulo Costa then shared his belief that the illegal knee he landed in the fight did not, contrary to Romero’s reaction, make impact with the groin.
“The second thing, my knee not hit his balls,” Costa said. “My knee hit his stomach, and he said, ‘Oh, you hit my balls,’ and he jumped back, and the referee (said) stop, stop. I don’t know him deep, but he’s a nice guy, he looks like a nice guy, but his kind of fight is not clean.”
What do you make of these accusations from Paulo Costa? How do you think Yoel Romero will respond?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 8/21/2019.