One-time middleweight title challenger, Paulo Costa has confirmed a fight between himself and undefeated welterweight contender, Khamzat Chimaev, is currently targeted for UFC 294 on October 21. in Abu Dhabi, UAE – claiming he’s confident the long-awaited pairing finally takes place.

Costa, the current #5 ranked middleweight contender, has been sidelined since August of last year, featuring most recently on the main card of UFC 278, defeating former undisputed titleholder, Luke Rockhold in a close, unanimous decision victory.

As for Chimaev, the AllStars MMA staple managed to improve to 12-0 as a professional back in September at UFC 279, defeating recent winner, Kevin Holland in a dominant, opening round D’Arce choke submission success.

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Linked with a potential return as soon as May to draft into a co-main event slot – which is now occupied by Gilbert Burns, and Belal Muhammad – the UFC had reportedly offered Costa a light heavyweight fight former undisputed titleholder, Jan Blachowicz.

Paulo Costa confident October fight with Khamzat Chimaev takes place

With the heralded fight between the duo failing to come to fruition, Costa claimed the UFC were attempting to book him in a fight against the undefeated, Chimaev for a UFC 294 pay-per-view event in October on ‘Fight Island’ at the Etihad Arena. 

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“I think October is so long – so far,” Paulo Costa said of a fight with Khamzat Chimaev at UFC 294 during an appearance on The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani. “That’s why I was so happy when the UFC wanted me to fight Jan (Blachowicz) at 205 [pounds]. Because it’s much less work to cut weight, you know? And this doesn’t effect my weight division at 185 [pounds]. So, I was sad when Jan declined.”

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“I think this fight (with Khamzat Chimaev) is gonna happen,” Paulo Costa explained. “I’m bothering the UFC to schedule a fight before [October] – like in June. I think they [the UFC]  have some agreement with Abu Dhabi or Dubai government, so they need to push a big fight for there.”