Still expected to make his Octagon return in October at UFC 294 in Abu Dhabi, UAE, Khamzat Chimaev has been tipped to still fight with former middleweight title challenger, Paulo Costa in his Octagon comeback, by friend and training partner, Darren Till.

Chimaev, who boasts as undefeated 12-0 professional record, slipped from the #3 rank in the official welterweight rankings earlier this month following a significant period of activity.

Limited to just two Octagon walks last year, the Chechen-born contender most recently co-headlined UFC 279 back in September last, submitting Kevin Holland in a dominant opening round D’Arce choke triumph. 

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And recently engaging in a war of words with former undisputed welterweight champion and pound-for-pound number one, Kamaru Usman, Chimaev has been backed to fight at UFC 294 in October – in a middleweight division return. 

Khamzat Chimaev insists he has been trying to secure a UFC comeback

Denying claims from UFC president Dana White that “personal stuff” has limited his ability to compete under the organization’s banner, Chimaev has been touted as preparing for a fight with the above-mentioned, Costa by former UFC title challenger, Till.

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“@KChimaev (Khamzat Chimaev) [is] training hard to smash @BorrachinhaMMA (Paulo Costa),” Darren Till tweeted.

Despite remaining confident a matchup between the two occurs, Costa has already been booked to make his Octagon return after voicing displeasure with a sidelining until October, with the Belo Horizonte native set to Ikram Aliskerov at UFC 291 on July 29. in Salt Lake City, Utah – in a truly surprising matchup. 

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Prior to his first round submission win over Holland at a catchweight limit, AllStars MMA staple, Chimaev turned in a Fight of the Year candidate against former title challenger, Gilbert Burns in April of last year, landing a close, tightly-contested unanimous decision success in Jacksonville, Florida.  

Aspiring mixed martial arts reporter based in Ireland. Follow along at @Ross_Markey on Twitter for all the latest news, fight announcements, opinion, and feature pieces.