It’s official! Paulo Costa is out and former welterweight world champion Kamaru Usman is in.
On Tuesday night, UFC CEO Dana White revealed that Paulo Costa’s co-main event clash with Khamzat Chiamev was in jeopardy after the one-time title challenger confirmed that he had undergone elbow surgery after contracting bursitis in his elbow. Despite remaining adamant that he would be ready to go come fight night, the UFC began their search for a replacement.
Less than 24 hours later, they have exactly that as revealed by Dana White in a video on X.
“What’s up, everybody,” White said. “You know what we’ve been dealing with this week. We just got the big fight done yesterday; a highly-anticipated rematch in Abu Dhabi. The main event, Makhachev vs. Volkanovski. Now you’ve been waiting for the co-main event. Costa’s hurt, all the rumors that are flying around, we got it done.
“So, the No. 4-ranked welterweight in the world, Khamzat Chimaev, is moving up to middleweight and he will face the No. 1 welterweight in the world, Kamaru Usman. So, No. 1 vs. No. 4 at middleweight, Usman vs. Chimaev. I will see you in Abu Dhabi.”
ARE YOU SHITTIN ME?!
— danawhite (@danawhite) October 11, 2023
The announcement comes on the heels of the reveal that Alexander Volkanovski would be stepping in on 11 days’ notice to fight Islam Makhachev in the main event after Charles Oliveira sustained an injury while sparring.
Paulo Costa Reveals a Second and Third Surgery to Repair His Elbow Following UFC 294 Withdrawal
Following White’s announcement, Paulo Costa took to social media to reveal that he has already undergone a second surgery with a third scheduled on Friday. Unsurprisingly, he was not medically cleared, but ‘The Eraser’ remained insistent that he will fight before 2023 comes to a close.
“This message goes to my fans,” Costa wrote. “Unfortunately, I am hospitalized and had to do a second surgery yesterday. According to doctors, a third surgery will be necessary on Friday. So, I will not be medically cleared to fight on October 21st.
“The Abu Dhabi card still amazing I’m no happy but that’s it . I will be back before end 2023.”
This message goes to my fans. Unfortunately, I am hospitalized and had to do a second surgery yesterday. According to doctors, a third surgery will be necessary on Friday.
So, I will not be medically cleared to fight on October 21st
The Abu Dhabi card still amazing I’m no happy…
— Paulo Costa ( Borrachinha ) (@BorrachinhaMMA) October 11, 2023
Transcription by MMA Mania