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Yoel Romero may not return until 2019, and Paulo Costa is okay with waiting

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

UFC 230 -- which is set to go down on Nov. 3, 2018 from inside Madison Square Garden in new York — suffered a big blow after Yoel Romero revealed he wouldn’t be healthy enough to face Paulo Costa at the pay-per-view (PPV) event.

“Soldier of God” suffered a broken orbital during his fight against Middleweight champion Robert Whittaker at UFC 225, which ultimately required surgery.

But the news didn’t seem to bother Costa too much, as he recently told MMA Junkie he has no issues waiting for Romero to heal up, even if it means he’ll miss the rest of 2018.

“It looks like he wants more time to train, to be ready for our fight,” Costa said. “But this fight will happen. I’ll wait for him to return. I’ll give him the time he needs to train. The time he finds necessary to be ready for our fight. And I’ll wait. This fight should happen early next year, 2019.”

With four months left in the year, Paulo has no issues riding the pine until Yoel heals up. Plus, there isn’t any other fight that intrigues him enough to step back into the cage at the moment. And risking losing to someone not ranked No. 1 would be detrimental to his championship goals.

“There’s no reason why I’d do another fight before,” Costa said. “He’s first in the (UFC’s) ranking, so there’s no better fighter for me to fight, considering that (Kelvin) Gastelum and Whittaker were already set to fight for the title. I think that’s the fight to make. So we’ll wait for him. Whenever he’s ready, I’ll be ready to beat him and go on in my journey toward the belt.”

Costa was last seen schooling Uriah hall at UFC 226, knocking him out in Las Vegas, Nevada to score his twelfth straight stoppage victory, improving his undefeated record to 12-0, 4-0 UFC.

As for Romero, he is fresh of his split decision loss to Robert Whittaker, the second time he’s lost to the champion in the course of a year. Despite teasing a move up to the Light Heavyweight division to face division champion Daniel Cormier, “Solider of God” intends to remain at 185 pounds for the foreseeable future.

And Costa will be waiting.