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TODAY'S PAPER

Paulo Costa vs. Yoel Romero set for UFC 230 at Madison Square Garden

Paulo Costa, right, kicks Johny Hendricks during a middleweight bout at UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden on Nov. 4, 2017. / Mario Gonzalez

Paulo Costa has been talked about as the next big Brazilian star in the UFC. A dozen career wins, with 11 knockouts and one submission, and zero defeats will do that to a fighter.

Yoel Romero, at 41, has been a known commodity in the UFC for several years, with his 11 knockouts in 13 career victories, twice challenging for the middleweight title and running off a string of victories against the upper echelon of the division.

So the suggestion here is to get your snacks and such in place early, restrict your blinking to the bare minimum and avoid much turning of your head as you watch Costa and Romero fight each other at UFC 230 at Madison Square Garden on Nov. 3.

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Costa (12-0, 4-0 UFC) has knocked out all of his opponents in the UFC, most recently a second-round stoppage of Uriah Hall earlier this month at UFC 226 in which he showed he could withstand some solid striking. Costa, 27, also fought on last year’s card at the Garden when he stopped Johny Hendricks in the second round.

Romero (13-3, 9-2) is coming off a split-decision loss to champion Robert Whittaker at UFC 225 in June. After winning eight in a row from 2013 to 2016, Romero has lost two of his last three, with losses to Whittaker bookending a third-round stoppage of Luke Rockhold.

Romero was part of the first event at MSG in 2016 where he stopped Chris Weidman with a flying knee in the third round. Weidman and Rockhold are in talks to fight each other at UFC 230, sources said. Middleweights Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza and David Branch are scheduled to fight each other as well.

If all three of these fights come to fruition, it would mean six of the top eight ranked UFC middleweights are competing on Nov. 3 at MSG.