One-time UFC middleweight title challenger Paulo Costa is ready to put on a masterclass when he returns to the Octagon in October.
Originally scheduled to compete against Russian standout Ikram Aliskerov at UFC 291 later this month, ‘The Eraser’ will instead compete at UFC 294 when the promotion heads back to Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi. Meeting him in the middle of the Octagon will be the undefeated Chechen monster, Khamzat Chimaev. UFC President Dana White made the blockbuster announcement on Wednesday while also revealing that the event will be headlined by a lightweight title rematch between reigning champion Islam Makhachev and former titleholder Charles Oliveira.
Since the announcement, Paulo Costa has stayed busy on social media, delivering his special brand of humor and trash-talk. In one of his more toned-down posts, ‘Borrachinha’ guaranteed fans a masterful performance against Chimaev this fall.
“This whole thing is a big 4 -D Chess BOARD. The checkmate is coming fast. This gonna be called Paulo MASTER CLASS when it be finished,” Costa tweeted.
Paulo Costa Ready to End Khamzat Chimaev’s Hype
Paulo Costa won 10-straight bouts en route to his first opportunity at UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya. Costa came up short in his lone title bid, suffering a second-round knockout during their scrap at UFC 253. The Eraser’ followed that up with a second-straight loss to perennial contender Marvin Vettori 10 months later, but has since bounced back with a solid unanimous decision win over former champion Luke Rockhold.
As for Khamzat Chimaev, ‘Borz’ is undefeated in his mixed martial arts career, boasting a record of 12-0, including six victories inside the Octagon. Chiamev burst onto the scene in 2020, scoring three finishes in less than two months’ time. Since then, ‘Borz’ has added three more wins. Chimaev ragdolled both Li Jingliang and Kevin Holland on his way to submission victories, but his biggest test yet came between those two fights.
Chimaev went toe-to-toe with Gilbert Burns in a three-round war at UFC 273 last year. While there were moments where it appeared Chimaev was in trouble, he managed to walk away with a unanimous decision victory.
Will ‘Borz’ earn himself a middleweight title opportunity with another highlight-reel-worthy win at UFC 294, or will Paulo Costa stop the Khamzat Chimaev hype train dead in its tracks?