Because of his physique and power-hitting capacity, Paulo Costa has doubts that Khamzat Chimaev will agree to a bout. Earlier in UFC 279 fight week, Chimaev and Costa got into an altercation at the UFC Performance Institute, where his team had to restrain him.
During the press conference, the Swede was questioned about his desire for a match-up with Paulo Costa. Chimaev ruled out a fight with Costa, and the Brazilian accused "Borz" of exclusively choosing weaker opponents, citing his most recent triumph over Gilbert Burns at UFC 273. Talking to an interview with The MacLife, Costa accused Chimaev of picking easy fights which have put a dent in the welterweight’s hype.
“I know you just want to fight small guys, short guys, shy guys like Burns,”
“Guys who you can beat and be a bully, but I’m not. I’m a big one, I’m the biggest middleweight in the UFC so you cannot bully me. When you show up, I will be here, ready for you because you are a ‘Gourmet Chechen,’ you are a fake gangster so that’s it.’’
“I know this guy don’t want this fight. He will try and fight somebody else who has no grappling, no jiu-jitsu, no wrestling. I have nothing more to say about that guy. I’m fresh, I can fight him with just one hand because it’s broken, but I don’t care man.”
‘’The Eraser’’ is coming off a bloodbath victory over the UFC veteran and former middleweight champion, Luke Rockhold. With still one fight left on his UFC deal, Costa is open to smash Chimaev, who faces Kevin Holland in a co-main event of UFC 279 on Saturday at T-Mobile Arena. If Chimaev is unavailable, Costa has alternative plans.
“We have Robert Whittaker, he’s a great fight,” Costa said. “Chimaev would be good because I’d like to beat his ass, but we have a couple of nice fights coming up.”
With Chimaev's fight in his mind, Costa didn’t deny facing his bitter rival in a rematch for the UFC gold.
“I have my business to do with Israel (Adesanya) and I will face him very soon. But Chimaev, you don’t need to call somebody to help you. Just me and you – I know, you’re scared. So shut up and do your thing, call to fight these shorter guys because you can’t handle me.”
After the scuffle, the backstage before UFC 279 presser, and his controversial weight miss for the UFC 279 main event, Chimaev's reputation has been badly hit among the fans. He was booed when he stepped in for the ceremonial weigh-in. To restore his hype and glory, he must choose a worthy opponent like Paulo Costa if it is feasible for UFC.