MONDAY NEWS DIGEST 3/11: Costa possibly removed from Florida card over USADA failure, UFC threatened to fire Randa Markos if she didn’t take a fight while injured, Dillon Danis booked for Bellator fight

By Cole Henry, MMATorch Contributor

Yoel Romero comments on Paulo Costa’s removal from ESPN 3 card

A highly anticipated bout between Paulo Costa and Yoel Romero was canceled last week, and Costa was replaced with division stalwart Jacare Souza. The UFC gave no explanation for the replacement which left everything open to speculation. It would appear that even Romero was left out in the cold and perhaps that’s why he made a statement that he later felt the need to take back…

“What I hear is Paulo Costa, he had a positive test for USADA, that’s what happened. That’s what I heard. The UFC called my manager and said Paulo Costa is out because he is positive and they said,” Jacare’ Souza’, I said OK.” (Via Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show)

While these comments no doubt led to a ton of people saying, “I told you so”, it would seem that perhaps Romero realized he spoke out of turn. After making the comments live on the show, Ariel Helwani reported on Twitter that Romero called him and clarified that he was only stating what he had heard and could not confirm if the rumor was accurate. For his part, Costa responded and claimed that he also didn’t know why the fight was canceled and of course denied that he failed a test administered by USADA.

Endeavor sticks to its word and returns $400 Million investment to Saudi Arabia

Following the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in a Saudi Arabian consulate, several American businesses stated that they would sever ties with the middle eastern country. But as of this writing many of those that talked the talk have not walked the walk. Endeavor, the parent company of the UFC did follow through though and has returned 400 Million dollars invested by the Saudi government in an attempt to diversify investments beyond oil. (First reported by New York Times)

Randa Markos on the demands of being a UFC Fighter

As fans of MMA, we know that the sport is tough for the athletes that compete at the highest level, but we don’t always get an inside glimpse into just what it takes to be among the best. Randa Markos is just that, ranked in the top 15 in the world in her weight class, she has competed successfully on multiple occasions against some of the best Strawweight’s in the world. But in a recent interview with CBC News, Markos gave an inside look into just how difficult and demanding the job can be. Her experience could also be seen as more evidence for the UFCs fighters coming together and unionizing. Markos took her last fight against her own wishes because she was recovering from a knee injury. Despite the injury, she was given very little choice.

“I asked them if I could get some time to recover and they told me I either take the fight in Brazil or I’m fired,” said Markos. It put me in a bad position, and I had bad thoughts going into the fight, lots of pressure and everything. But I came out with a draw, which is really crazy.”

The bout being discussed was her latest, a Draw in Brazil against Marina Rodriguez. She was forced to take the bout or risk losing her spot on the roster. Is that what should be expected of a fighter, or should they be given fair time to recover assuming the injury is one that can be documented? It’s during moments like these that the question of a union becomes one worth discussing.

Dillon Danis booked for second MMA bout

Love him or hate him you probably know who he is. Dillon Danis is a successful BJJ Blackbelt, but he is perhaps better known for his work with Conor Mcgregor. Danis has often referred to himself as the top prospect in all of MMA despite the fact that he has only competed on one occasion. But now it looks like he will get a second chance to prove that he isn’t all mouth. Danis has been booked by Bellator to compete against Max Humphries (3-2) on the upcoming Bellator 221 card which also features Michael Chandler and Patricio Pitbull for the World Lightweight Championship as well as a welterweight tournament bout between Michael Page and Douglas Lima.

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