12 Mar - 
Costa Denies Failing Drug Test Despite Romero Rumor
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 04: Paulo Costa of Brazil

Top Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) middleweight contender, Yoel Romero, told the mixed martial arts (MMA) media that former opponent, Paulo Costa, was yanked from their UFC Ft. Lauderdale main event after failing a United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) drug test.

Then someone wisely told him to walk it back because that’s the kind of accusation that can get a fighter in all sorts of trouble (example here), especially in the wake of the promotion's new policy on drug-testing disclosure.

Not that Costa was rattled by the accusation.

“I’m the Brazilian UFC fighter who gets tested the most by USADA,” Costa told Tatame (transcribed by MMA Junkie). “I never failed (a doping test), and I didn’t this time. I don’t need doping to get all the good results I’ve been getting and to be regarded as the new Brazilian star in the sport like I am.”

Take that, silly surf boi.

“It’s not true, there was no doping, he wasn’t caught doing [anything],” manager Wallid Ismail told MMA Fighting. “That’s a lie. A big lie.”

Costa was expected to fight Romero on ESPN on April 27 but was mysteriously yanked from the proposed match up and replaced with Ronaldo Souza, who narrowly lost to “Soldier of God” in their split-decision showdown in late 2015 (recap here).

The promotion has yet to make any sort of announcement as to why “The Eraser” is no longer penciled in for “The Sunshine State,” though I would expect those questions to come up at this week’s press conference for the UFC London event.

Stay tuned.