Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) middleweight champion, Israel Adesanya, was expected to make his first 185-pound title defense against top division contender, Paulo Costa, at some point in early 2020.
Unfortunately for “The Eraser,” a bicep injury is likely to keep him out of action for eight months. There was talk of giving that shot to Yoel Romero, who fell to the Brazilian at UFC 241 last August, but promotion president, Dana White, has other plans.
“Costa tore his bicep so he had to have surgery,” White told Adam’s Apple (via MMA Fighting). “He’s claiming that he will be back sooner than he will be. That’s not what the doctor is telling me, so that’s not true. [Adesanya] wants to fight Yoel Romero. He wants Romero. So we’re talking about giving Romero a fight coming up soon here and then (Adesanya) will fight the winner of that fight.”
A quick look at the middleweight rankings suggests Romero will be paired off against surging 185-pound slugger, Jared Cannonier. If they can throw leather at some point in January, the winner could, in theory, jump right back into the fray before Costa returns.
Romero (13-4) has managed to remain in the No. 3 spot on the middleweight ladder, despite a 1-3 record over his last four fights, with the other two of those losses coming against former 185-pound champion Robert Whittaker.