UFC 294 which is scheduled for October 21 has taken an unexpected twist once again. It was recently on Tuesday when news broke that there have been some changes in the main event fight card. A few hours ago, some other changes took place related to the co-main event fight card. It is related to the Brazilian fighter Paulo Costa (UFC Record-14-2-0).
In the main event, current lightweight champion Islam Makhachev was all set to face Charles Oliveira. However, Oliveira had to withdraw because of a bad cut above his eye. Now, the Russian fighter will face Featherweight champion and former challenger Alexander Volkanovski in a rematch.
Now, the co-main event, which included Middleweight contender Paulo Costa, has also faced an unexpected change. ‘Borrachinha‘ was dealing with an elbow injury. Due to this, he couldn’t compete against the Swedish fighter. Instead, former UFC Welterweight champion Kamaru Usman will now face Chimaev making his Middleweight debut.
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Dana White, the UFC CEO, confirmed these changes in an online video clip. He stated, “Costa’s hurt, all the rumors that are flying around, we got it done”. He added, “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.”
To fans who are not aware, this bout between Usman and Chimaev will determine the next title challenger for the Middleweight title, currently held by Sean Strickland.
Now, when it comes to Kamaru Usman (MMA Record- 20-3-0), he last fought earlier this year against Leon Edwards at UFC 286. Although, ‘The Nigerian Nightmare’ faced defeat. Chimaev, on the other hand, is coming after gaining a victory. He submitted Kevin Holland at UFC 279 in September 2022.
The last-minute changes have added a twist to the fight card. However, fans are eager to watch these highly anticipated clashes soon.
What explanation did Paulo Costa give for his UFC 294 withdrawal?
Paulo Costa, who stands tall at 6ft, recently took to social media to explain why he had to withdraw from the UFC 294 event. Moreover, the 32-year-old fighter apologized to his supporters for not being able to compete.
Fans must know that only a while back Paulo Costa had surgery on his right elbow due to bursitis. Then, earlier this week, he revealed he had another surgery for a staph infection. Even though he promised to still make it to the fight after these two surgeries, he now had another surgery because of the staph infection. He’s currently in the hospital, and as per doctors, he can’t fight at UFC 294.
On social media, Paulo Costa expressed how heartbroken he is as he won’t be entering the octagon. He posted a video on Instagram to talk to his fans, saying, “I’m sorry for the fans, I know this fight was highly anticipated, and I’m sorry for my team and for myself, as I’m the most interested in fighting… I would really like to thank those who support me, and especially the UFC, for all the support given to me from the first surgery until now.”
Now because of Costa’s withdrawal, Kamaru Usman, who’s famous as ‘The Nigerian Nightmare,’ has stepped in to fight on short notice. He’s even moving up in weight to 185 pounds for this co-main event at UFC 294 in Abu Dhabi.
Fans are excited to see the upcoming clash with new fighters on line. Moreover, they also wish a speedy recovery to the Brazilian fighter.