Finally booked to make his long-awaited return to the Octagon following a lengthy absence, undefeated welterweight challenger, Khamzat Chimaev will make a middleweight division return on October 19. – taking on Brazilian fan-favorite, Paulo Costa at UFC 294 in Abu Dhabi, UAE.
Chimaev, the current number four ranked middleweight contender, has been sidelined he co-headlined UFC 279 back in September of last year, moving to 12-0 as a professional with a first round D’Arce choke submission win over Kevin Holland.
As for Costa, the Belo Horizonte native was expected to make his return at UFC 291 later this month, taking on would-be common-foe, Ikram Aliskerov in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Khamzat Chimaev books Octagon return against Paulo Costa
However, as per an official announcement from UFC president, Dana White, Costa has since been pulled from the bout, taking on the unbeaten Khamzat Chimaev, while Aliskerov also features on October 19. now, taking on Nassourdine Imavov on ‘Fight Island’.
Linked with a slew of opponents for a return to the Octagon during his absence from the sport, Chimaev, who had recently called for a fight with welterweight champion, Leon Edwards, just earlier this week, had also weighed up a catchweight pairing with former champion, Kamaru Usman.
And as for Costa, the Brazilian middleweight has been sidelined since August of last year, returning to the winner’s enclosure himself with a unanimous decision win over former middleweight champion, Luke Rockhold at UFC 278.