Yoel Romero won’t be fighting Paulo Costa at UFC 230 after all

Despite the fight between top middleweights Yoel Romero and Paulo Costa being announced for UFC 230 at Madison Square Garden, Romero says he is unable to make that November 3rd date.

Romero claims he had surgery on a broken orbital bone suffered during his split decision loss to Robert Whittaker back in May.

Speaking to ESPN’s Ariel Helwani, Romero said it will be some time before he returns to the Octagon as a result.

“Maybe four or five months,” Romero said of his return [H/T ESPN’s Greg Rosenstein]. “The doctor said, ‘Yoel needs more time.’ You know me. If you give me somebody, I take it. But you need to be smart. When the doctor says, ‘You’re ready,’ you can go. I’m waiting.

“My eye is not ready,” Romero added. “I want to fight, but it is what it is. The doctor said, ‘Yoel cannot fight.’ I want to fight on this card, this show. Anytime you have an opportunity to fight at Madison Square Garden in New York, you’re making history. But I need to wait.”

Romero, who failed to make weight ahead of his aforementioned second fight with Whittaker, says he is looking to stay at middleweight despite his recent weight issues.

According to the Cuban, he has recently signed an eight-fight deal with the UFC and is resisting the promotion’s wishes to move him up to 205lbs.

“I talked with the UFC and said I’m not going to go up,” Romero said. “Maybe in the future. People need to see the belt on my body. When I take the belt, maybe I’ll go up and fight a superfight [against another champion].”