Paulo Costa Claims Khamzat Chimaev Rejected UFC Saudi Arabia Clash: ‘Gourmet chenchen doesn’t want that smoke’

Paulo Costa Khamzat Chimaev

Paulo Costa wants to see his previously scheduled fight with Khamzat Chimaev moved to next year’s UFC Saudi Arabia card.

It’s been 16 months since fight fans have seen ‘The Eraser’ back in the Octagon following a bizarre, yet decisive unanimous decision win over Luke Rockhold at UFC 278. After a lengthy contract negotiation that saw him re-sign with the promotion on a four-fight deal, the one-time title challenger looked to jump right back into the mix at middleweight.

Costa was scheduled to square off with undefeated Chechen monster Khamzat Chimaev at UFC 294 in Abu Dhabi, but ‘Borrachinha’ was forced to withdraw from the bout due to an infection in his elbow that required multiple surgeries.

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Former welterweight world champion Kamaru Usman stepped up and took his spot against Chimaev in the co-main event clash.

Paulo Costa plans to stay active in 2024

Recently, Costa took to social media to suggest that his long-awaited fight with Chimaev be moved to the UFC’s highly anticipated debut in Saudi Arabia next year. However, he also claimed that ‘Borz’ seemingly wants nothing to do with the matchup.

“I have been persistently telling the UFC to reschedule this fight for UFC Saudi Arabia, I can’t see a best main event of 5 rounds for it right now cause it’s make sense in Middle East. I would love beat his ass over there . but it’s looks like gourmet chenchen doesn’t want that smoke,” Costa wrote on X.

In a follow-up post, Costa expressed interest in a potential meeting with former middleweight champ and perennial contender Robert Whittaker should things not come to fruition with Chimaev.

“Other guys in List is Rob , if he is interested in this I proposal they should match up it sooner than later , cause I want to be active in 24,” he added.

The UFC will head to Riyadh for the first time on March 2, 2024. Thus far, only two bouts have been announced for the history-making event. Eryk Anders is expected to meet Jamie Pickett in a middleweight matchup while returning undefeated prospect Muhammad Mokaev is scheduled to make his sixth appearance for the promotion against Alex Perez.

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Are you still interested in seeing Paulo Costa and Khamzat Chimaev square off inside the Octagon?