Yoel Romero made some bold accusations against Paulo Costa earlier this week. After Costa was pulled from his scheduled bout with Romero set for Fort Lauderdale next month in favor of Jacare Souza, Romero hinted that Costa may have failed a USADA test. Costa’s management has responded to these allegations and he says that’s not the case.
“It’s not true, there was no doping, he wasn’t caught doing [anything],” Wallid Ismail told MMAFighting. “That’s a lie. A big lie.”
So while Ismail was clear in his denial of a doping violation, he also didn’t offer any explanation for why Costa was pulled from the bout.
One possibility is that UFC was not confident that Costa could move tickets against Romero in the main event slot. Jacare is a bigger name than Costa and with tickets set to go on sale this Friday, UFC may have pulled the trigger on Jacare to ensure that UFC does a strong gate in Fort Lauderdale.
Lewis fought hurt
Derrick Lewis has fought hurt in the past, and that was true again last Saturday night. According to his coach, Bob Perez, Lewis had a bad knee injury before his fight with Junior dos Santos, and couldn’t train leading up to the fight.
“We couldn’t really do anything,” Perez said (via MMAFighting). “From Feb. 12 to the fight, he couldn’t run. I basically was able to hold mitts for him and he was able to swim and do a seated, stationary bike. He could not train.”
Lewis fought Travis Browne in 2017 with a bad back and ended up winning that fight. He didn’t fare so well against Dos Santos, but Perez was still proud of his student’s performance.
“He went in there and freakin’ banged it out,” Perez said. “That’s what I love about that guy. There’s no fear in him. There’s nothing but heart.”
-Ali Abdelaziz told MMAJunkie that Kamaru Usman had surgery for a double hernia on Tuesday. Usman also shared the news on Instagram “I needed to get it fixed so I can be back and ready to defend that belt, man. I’m going to clean the division absolutely, so I got to make sure I’m no longer 30 percent. Got to make sure I get as close to 100 as I can, man.”
-Anatoly Tokov vs. Gerald Harris has been added to Bellator 218 on March 22.
-Joe Schilling vs. Keith Berry is set for Bellator 219 on March 29.
-Ray Borg will fight Kyler Phillips at UFC Philadelphia on March 30.