UFC middleweight fighter Paulo Costa has pulled out from his fight at UFC 291. Costa was originally supposed to fight upcoming prospect Ikram Aliskerov on the main card of Justin Gaethje vs Dustin Poirier 2. However, the Brazilian fighter pulled out of his fight without giving any solid reason and was replaced with middleweight fighter Roman Dolidze.
With Costa out of the July card, UFC has set him up against a more exciting and famous opponent. Khamzat Chimaev will take on Costa at UFC 294 in Abu Dhabi on October 21. The duo was in talks to fight each other after Dana White affirmed that ‘Borz ‘ will be making his move to the middleweight division.
Paulo Costa will face Khamzat Chimaev at UFC 294 in Abu Dhabi, Dana White announced. pic.twitter.com/xHBPb3RJ7Q
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) July 20, 2023
However, the matchmaking process took quite a time to reach this decision, and the bout was delayed. Paulo Costa last fought at UFC 278, where he won via a unanimous decision over former division champion Luke Rockhold. Meanwhile, Khamzat missed his weight for his last fight against Nate Diaz and had to fight Kevin Holland instead.
Both fighters are coming off a win and already have an ongoing feud for quite some time. With all the bad blood between the two, fight fans are surely excited to witness them scrap inside the Octagon.
Paulo Costa vs Khamzat Chimaev: Stats and record
Paulo Costa also known as ‘Borrachinhha’ has a professional MMA record of 14 wins and 2 losses. Meanwhile, his opponent Khamzat Chimaev also known as’ Borz’ is undefeated with a record of 12 wins and no losses. Both fighters seemingly dislike each other and have taken to social media to prove it as well.
— Paulo Costa ( Borrachinha ) (@BorrachinhaMMA) July 20, 2023
Khamzat Chimaev and Paulo Costa will fight in the middleweight division and will have to make 186 lbs. However, Khamzat might come out as the lighter opponent as Paulo Costa weighs around 210 lbs on fight day. Both fighters don’t have a huge difference in their heights as Paulo Costa stands at 6 feet 1 inches and Khamzat at 6 feet 2 inches.
That said Chimaev has an extra 3-inch reach advantage with 75 inches over Costa’s 72 inches. While Khamzat will use his reach to his advantage, fans might witness a lot of ground and pound from both sides.
Paulo Costa has two losses on his record of which one came at the hands of Israel Adesanya. His other loss came via a unanimous decision to Marvin Vettori at UFC Vegas 41 in 2021. Khamzat Chimaev on the other hand has been undefeated his whole career and will try it not to change at UFC 294.
Both fighters have missed weight once in their career and had to fight at catchweight bouts. While Costa has displayed that he can still cut down to the middleweight division, Khamzat made the clever choice of moving up a weight class.
Khamzat Chimaev is currently the betting favorite at the moment. However, fight fans should not be surprised if they witness a war inside the octagon. Will Khamzat Chimaev manage to keep his undefeated record intact in the middleweight division?