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Yoel Romero inks new eight-fight contract with UFC, but isn’t healthy enough to face Paulo Costa at UFC 230

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UFC 213: Nunes vs Shevchenko Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images

Despite Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) announcing a fight between Middleweight heavy-hitters Yoel Romero and Paulo Costa, that fight simply isn’t happening. That’s according to “Soldier of God,” who tells ESPN’s Ariel Helwani — who repeatedly declared the fight wasn’t set in stone — that he simply isn’t healthy enough to face Costa at the proposed date.

“I’m waiting. My manager is telling Dana, ‘Yoel can fight but not right now’ ... maybe in four or five months,” he said. “I want to fight on this card, this show. But, I need to wait.”

Romero ended up getting pretty banged up following his five-round war against current UFC 185-pound champion Robert Whittaker at UFC 225 this past June. Despite a valiant effort, Romero came up short on the judges scorecards in the non-title fight. Romero ended up going under the knife to repair a broken orbital, which is the reason he is unable to face Costa in November.

Romero and his management company teased a move up to Light Heavyweight to challenge division champion Daniel Cormier, but “DC” didn’t think too much of the challenge, saying “Soldier of God” hasn’t done anything in the division to warrant a shot at his belt.

Despite his plans to go up, Romero says he won’t do so until he wins the 185-pound title. As for his pending return, Yoel — who says he inked a new eight-fight contract with UFC at the age of 41 — hopes it comes at the end of this year, possibly against Costa.

As for UFC 230, the promotion’s return to Madison Square Garden is now looking a little grim with the recent revelation, especially if Nate Diaz lives up to his word of not showing up to face Dustin Poirier.

Jon Jones to the rescue?