Top middleweight contender Paulo Costa has reportedly been forced to cancel his eagerly awaited matchup with Khamzat Chimaev at UFC 294, which is due next weekend. Because of the Brazilian’s recent surgery, rumors were ignited that Costa had reportedly pulled off the fight at the last moment.
UFC CEO Dana White also said that the fight would be at risk, and it appears that his worst fears have come true. Ever since Dana’s statement came out, speculations about Khamzat‘s opponent for the co-main event of UFC 294 have been made by the fight fans out there.
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After ‘Borrachinha‘s’ exit from the fight card, the organization asked Marvin Vettori to fill in on short notice, according to the OverDogs Podcast. However, ‘The Italian Dream’ declined, and the UFC was forced to scramble to find another top-tier middleweight challenger to take on ‘Borz’.
An X account named Rueben Carter then reported that Robert Whittaker vs. Khamzat Chimaev was officially signed for UFC 294 on October 21 in Abu Dhabi, UAE. However, this is not true, as Paulo Costa himself has confirmed that there is no way that he is pulling out of the fight.
Dana White says Khamzat Chimaev vs. Paulo Costa is in jeopardy
UFC president Dana White surprised one and all on October 10, when he said that Paulo Costa vs. Khamzat Chimaev may not happen. When questioned if the co-headlining fight is off in light of Costa’s disclosure of elbow surgery three weeks ago, White responded by saying, “Yeah, it’s possible”.
The Brazilian middleweight Paulo Costa disclosed earlier on October 9 that he had surgery on his right elbow as a result of severe bursitis. Following the incident, ‘Borrachinha’ needed 10 stitches and was given a two-week recuperation period without exercise. Costa was determined to take on Chimaev only five weeks after surgery, but it appears he may have to wait a little longer.
The two high-profile matches on the UFC 294 fight card have been canceled, including this one. Former UFC champion Charles Oliveira‘s withdrawal from his title rematch against reigning lightweight king Islam Makhachev due to an injury was officially announced earlier.
But to give some much-needed relief to Dana White and the fans, UFC featherweight king Alexander Volkanovski, who recently competed against the Dagestani grappling prodigy Islam at UFC 280, has taken his spot. While Volk has definitely earned the fans’ respect, it is such a shame that a card that was long-awaited by fight fans all around the world has faced multiple cancellations at the last moment.