Paulo Costa’s coach, Eric Albarracin, accuses Khamzat Chimaev camp of sabotaging his fighter with crank calls

Paulo Costa

Paulo Costa’s coach, Eric Albarracin, has accused the Khamzat Chimaev camp of resorting to some old school tactics in an effort to sabotage their fight camp.

In just over a week’s time, Costa and Chimaev will return to the Octagon for the first time in more than a year when the two men square off in a potential middleweight title eliminator as part of UFC 294 in Abu Dhabi.

Ahead of their highly anticipated clash, Costa, alongside his coach, appeared on The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani and suggested that Chimaev and his crew were going out of there way to make things a bit more difficult for ‘The Eraser’ as they march toward fight night.

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“We were in the (hotel) lobby together. We were outside in the parking lot, they were in the lobby. I mean, tensions were high because the last time they saw each other at the UFC PI, you guys saw what almost went down,” Albarracin said. “You know, with the biggest fight in UAE history going down in two weeks, what is the reason why three weeks ago we’re staying at a hotel with no security?”

Albarracin Believes Paulo Costa Will Earn a Title Shot at UFC 294

Adding insult to injury, Paulo Costa is still recovering from surgery after contracting a nasty infection in his elbow. Despite the ominous nature of the injury, Costa remains insistent that he will be ready to go come October 21.

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“After that happened, people started calling us in the middle of the night, waking us up. So, there’s just been some sabotaging going on on his end, trying to keep us with the jet lag,” Albarracin continued. “But it’s not gonna work because this time we came out super early to right what was wrong, what happened last time we came out here to Abu Dhabi. ‘Secret Juice Costa’ now, he’s cold, he’s calculated. He’s recalibrated, he’s reformulated. He’s smarter than ever. This time in Abu Dhabi, we’re getting that title shot” (h/t MMA Mania).

Long before Costa and Chimaev were scheduled to scrap inside the Octagon, the pair had a run-in at the UFC Performance Institute in Las Vegas in the days leading up to UFC 279. More than a year later, they’ll finally settle their differences inside the Octagon in the UAE.

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