Paulo Costa is eyeing a fight with Khamzat Chimaev.
Paulo Costa is coming off an impressive win over Luke Rockhold his last time out. He didn’t really have any off time following that bout, and immediately has been looking for his next fight. He seems to be targeting one man on social media and almost came to blows with him in person, that man is Khamzat Chimaev.
Chimaev has a very eventful week last week in the lead-up to UFC 279. He was in an altercation with Kevin Holland prior to the UFC 279 press conference, and both men had to be separated. The press conference was canceled due to the incident. Then Chimaev missed weight and lost out on the main event fight against Nate Diaz, and fought Holland for real. As if all that was not enough, Chimaev had a run-in with Costa earlier in the week while both were training at the UFC Performance Institute.
Paulo Costa explains the confrontation between Chimaev and himself
Costa said he was training when Chimaev called his name he began to walk towards him but Chimaev was being held back by his team the two were yelling at each other but never approached one another. Costa was a guest on The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani and gave his side of the story.
“That guy called my name. I was training I was chilling out train with my good friend Jake Shields,” Costa explained. “Yep, Jake shields taught me some good position of American jiu-jitsu and I saw, I saw Chimaev was there. he was like this, watching me. And I say, Okay, let the guy learn some techniques and after something like 10 minutes or 15 minutes, I hear he called my name ‘Hey, Paulo,’ he said, ‘come here’. Okay, I go there immediately. And when I got that, I get there, he say, ‘Paulo, why do you talk about me in the media? Please tell me’. I say ‘my friend, look, you want to fight me?’ He said, ‘no, I just want to know why you talk about me?’ For what I’ve say about you, I want to fight you. You know, but I say I want to fight you in the cage. Official fight for sure. He say, ‘Okay, so let’s fight now.’ But at that time, he had 10 people more, have his team there beside him. And they hold him. They stay between me and him in the cage.”
The interesting part of this new feud is that it seems as though Chimaev may be wanting to fight at middleweight going forward. After his UFC 279 fight, he spoke about wanting to compete in both weight classes. Costa is ranked at number six in the official middleweight rankings and could potentially be a good fit for Chimaev going forward. Chimaev’s coach spoke with Helwani before Costa and said he could expect Chimaev back at the end of the year. Costa is now recovering from hand surgery and could be ready around the same time.