The mixed martial arts world is buzzing with excitement as news circulates about a potential showdown between Brazilian fighter Paulo Costa, and Khamzat Chimaev, the rising star from Sweden. The two have been teasing the possibility of a bout for quite some time, with fans eagerly waiting for the announcement of a confirmed match.
Costa recently resolved his contract dispute with the UFC, while Chimaev appears to be making the move to the middleweight division, further fueling speculation that the two could be on a collision course. In fact, ‘Borrachinha’ has suggested that the fight could take place as soon as UFC 294 in Abu Dhabi, which is scheduled for October of this year.
During an interview with Ariel Helwani of The MMA Hour, Costa expressed his confidence in the potential matchup, stating that he believes it will happen. He also pointed out that the UFC is in need of big fights for the Abu Dhabi card, which could work in his favour. However, he emphasised that he has not yet signed his contract and expects to be compensated for his time away from the octagon if he has to wait until October to fight.
“It’s true [that the UFC wants the fight], but I think October is so long. It is so far. That’s why I was happy when the UFC asked me to fight Jan [Blachowicz] at 205 [pounds] because it’s much, much less work to cut weight, and it doesn’t affect my weight division at 185 [pounds], so I was sad when Jan declined. I think this fight’s going to happen… I’m asking, I’m bothering the UFC to schedule a fight before [October], like in June.”
Despite the ongoing negotiations with the UFC, Costa has already set his sights on future opponents. The middleweight contender recently shared his desire to face both Chimaev and Sean Strickland under his new contract. It is expected that his deal with the promotion will be finalised once he has secured an opponent.
“I haven’t signed the contract yet but we have reached a deal with the UFC regarding the pay. It wasn’t easy, there was a lot of hard work, and I have to highlight Tamara’s brilliant work here… [The UFC] wants to make sure this Chimaev fight happens at all costs, but I want to make both happen. We’ll see.”
While Costa has not entered the octagon since UFC 278 in August of last year, he has managed to stay relevant in the sport thanks to his active online presence. Although he was reportedly in talks to face Robert Whittaker at UFC 284, his contract dispute with the promotion prevented the fight from happening. Nonetheless, fans remain optimistic that a showdown between Costa and Chimaev could be on the horizon, and are eagerly anticipating the announcement of a confirmed matchup.
Paulo Costa, the Brazilian middleweight contender, has been itching to return to the octagon after an extended absence of almost a year. Unfortunately, his comeback has been delayed multiple times, much to the disappointment of his fans. Costa recently opened up about his failed bout against Jan Blachowicz, which was rumoured to be his next fight.
In an interview with Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour, Costa revealed that the UFC had expressed its desire for him to remain at light heavyweight if he won the bout against Blachowicz. However, this condition did not sit well with Costa, who was adamant about returning to his original weight class of middleweight.
“Jan, he’s lying. I never turned down a fight. Actually, in fact, he is who turned down the fight. I have always been negotiating that fight. For three or four days, I was negotiating with the UFC. I never pulled out the fight. I was actually very happy with that fight. I accept the fight, but the UFC suggested to me that once I beat him, I don’t come back to 185 [pounds]. They said ‘once you beat Jan, you need to stay at 205 and hold your position because Jan is No.3 so you need to hold at 205’. I told them, ‘guys, I have business to finish at 185 so I cannot go right now to 205’.”
Despite the initial disagreement, Costa suggested that the UFC eventually relented and agreed to his terms. However, the fight still did not materialise as Jan Blachowicz declined the matchup. Costa speculated that the former light heavyweight champion may not have been ready for a short-notice fight at UFC 288.
While Costa’s fans were disappointed to hear that the highly anticipated bout with Blachowicz had fallen through, the Brazilian fighter remains optimistic about his future in the sport. He continues to train hard and focus on his upcoming matches, and has his sights set on reclaiming his position among the top middleweight fighters in the UFC.