Khamzat Chimaev vs. Paulo Costa a real possibility for UFC 294

Paulo Costa and Khamzat Chimaev have teased a potential bout for quite some time. With the former ending his contract dispute with the UFC and the latter seemingly set to make the move to middleweight, the pair may be on a collision course. ‘Borrachinha’ believes that the pair could clash as soon as UFC 294 in Abu Dhabi this October.

Speaking to Ariel Helwani of The MMA Hour, the No.5-ranked middleweight stated:

“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.”

When asked if the rumored bout with Khamzat Chimaev will happen, Paulo Costa stated:

“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.”

Check out Paulo Costa’s comments on facing Khamzat Chimaev below:

Costa added that the UFC’s deal with Abu Dhabi leaves the promotion needing big fights for the card. He claimed that he has not signed his contract and that if he has to wait until October to fight, he expects to be compensated for his time away from the octagon.

Paulo Costa wants to face both Khamzat Chimaev and Sean Strickland under his new contract

While Paulo Costa‘s new contract with the UFC isn’t quite yet official, it is expected to be finalized once the middleweight contender has an opponent. ‘Borrachinha’ recently shared that he is looking to face Khamzat Chimaev and Sean Strickland on his new deal, stating:

“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.”

Check out Paulo Costa’s comments below:

Costa has not entered the octagon since UFC 278 last August. Despite the inactivity, he has managed to remain relevant due to his online presence.

The No.5-ranked middleweight was reportedly in talks to face Robert Whittaker at UFC 284. However, he was involved in a contract dispute with the promotion. While Chimaev may not be his next opponent, the bout appears likely to happen in the near future.

Check out the full interview below:

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