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Costa's Clash: A Dream Fight on the Horizon

In the pulsating world of UFC, dreams and rivalries often collide, creating a spectacle that fans can't help but anticipate. One such dream fight seems to be etching its way into reality as Paulo Costa, the dynamic middleweight contender, expresses his fervent desire for a showdown with none other than Khamzat Chimaev.

Scheduled to face Robert Whittaker at UFC 298, Costa's focus remains steadfast on the enigmatic Chimaev, despite the impending battle with Whittaker. The Brazilian fighter sheds light on his relentless pursuit of the Chimaev clash, explaining, 

“I was trying to fight Gourmet Chen Chen — Chimaev. I was trying. Since I could not fight, and he fought against Kamaru — he won, but he didn’t convince anyone, I don’t think.”

The feud between Costa and Chimaev has been simmering for over a year, reaching its boiling point ahead of UFC 279. However, fate had other plans as Costa had to withdraw due to injury, allowing Chimaev to face Kamaru Usman instead. Despite Chimaev's victory, Costa remains unconvinced, asserting his belief that a title shot is rightfully his.

Costa reveals the hurdles in arranging the Chimaev clash, stating, 

“...they said, ‘We have Whittaker.’ I said OK, let’s go.”

As the stage is set for Costa vs. Whittaker, the stakes are high. The Brazilian envisions a title shot for the winner, emphasizing, “Either me or Whittaker, whoever wins, I think.” This could be Costa's opportunity to redeem himself after falling short against Israel Adesanya in 2020.

However, Costa has his eyes set on a specific future: 

“My dream fight is for the belt against Chen Chen.” He exudes confidence in the potential matchup against Chimaev, stating, “I can bet everything on me. I’m so confident in that fight.”

Despite the obstacles in making the Chimaev clash happen, Costa remains unwavering in his conviction. Reflecting on the past attempts to book the fight, Costa reveals, 

“But they cannot force [him]. You don’t know how much everybody from the UFC forced, they actually forced Khamzat to fight me in Abu Dhabi. He [turned it down] three times last year.”

With UFC 298 approaching, where Costa faces Whittaker, the Brazilian fighter is confident in his abilities. 

“I think I’m going to catch him, punches or kicks, I don’t know,” says Costa, envisioning victory against Whittaker as a stepping stone toward his dream encounter with Chimaev.

As the MMA world eagerly awaits UFC 298 on Feb. 17 at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California, the potential clash between Costa and Chimaev looms large, promising fireworks and fulfilling the dreams of both fighters and fans alike.


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