It was initially expected that Paulo Costa would face Yoel Romero in the main event of UFC Fort Lauderdale on April 27.
Unfortunately, neither man will be competing on that card. Costa was subsequently removed from the card for undisclosed reasons. Romero pulled out due to illness after receiving replacement opponent Jacare Souza. At the time of Costa’s removal, Romero claimed that he heard it was due to the Brazilian failing a drug test.
Costa and his manager later denied this, but refused to clarify why he was taken off the card. Now, speaking to Combate, “Borrachinha” has said that the New York State Athletic Commission (NYSAC) inquiring about a stomach medication from 2017 is to blame for his removal from the card:
“[Romero] came back from a reality show and could finally sign the contract,” Costa said. “(But) on the same week the New York Athletic Commission asked me to talk about a stomach medication I had used.
“And they said: ‘For you to talk about this, unfortunately you won’t be able to fight. You will be ineligible for this fight because you have to notify us about what you used for your stomach.’ It was a simple medication, Plasil.
“That’s not doping. You take it when you have stomach pain. So, because of that, I didn’t understand it too, but they said I couldn’t fight, that I had to figure this out first.”
Costa last competed in July 2018 when he defeated Uriah Hall at UFC 226. He fought Johny Hendricks in New York in 2017. Prior to the bout, Costa was allegedly caught on video using an IV. That is banned by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA):
Fined For Medication
MMA Fighting reports that a representative from the New York State Department of State (parent governing body of the NYSAC), Lee Park, has revealed that Costa “has been fined, not suspended, by the Commission.”
It was also noted that he is not currently licensed by the commission either. Park said Costa has not yet paid the $9,333.33 fine.
In regards to the stomach medication in question, Park said “evidence received and reviewed by the Commission conclusively showed that Mr. Costa failed to comply with Commission rules and policies regarding the use and disclosure of non-performance enhancing substances while licensed.”
New York State regulations read “the Commission shall have the authority to inquire into the affairs of licensees, permit holders and other authorized persons or entities, and into any matter which may affect combative sports or professional wrestling in New York in its discretion and without limitations. Licensees, permit holders, and otherwise authorized persons or entities shall cooperate fully with inquiries by the Commission.”