Paulo Costa Denies He Was Pulled From Yoel Romero Fight For USADA Violation

Paulo Costa was recently replaced by Ronaldo ‘Jacare’ Souza for an upcoming fight against Yoel Romero, and rumors have since emerged that the reason was that the rising Brazilian star had failed a USADA drug test.

“What I hear is Paulo Costa, he had a positive test for USADA,” Romero told ESPN’s Ariel Helwani yesterday. “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’ (as an opponent)?’ I said OK.”

However, after the interview Romero had clarified that he didn’t have official confirmation and that it was just hearsay.

Now Costa’s camp have spoken out and claimed that Costa hasn’t failed a drug test, though they are being oddly cagey about stating the real reason.

“He didn’t test positive for anything – that’s it for now,” Costa’s manager Walid Ismael told MMAjunkie.

Costa himself also denied any wrongdoing.

“I’m the Brazilian UFC fighter who gets tested the most by USADA – I never failed (a doping test), and I didn’t this time,” Costa told the Tatame site. “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.”

Costa is currently undefeated in his MMA career, having registered a 12-0 record that includes four victories in a row inside the UFC’s Octagon – all of which have come by way of TKO.

Ross launched MMA Insight (previously in 2009 as a way to channel his passion for the sport of mixed martial arts. He's since penned countless news stories and live fight reports along with dozens of feature articles as the lead writer for the site, reaching millions of fans in the process.