Paulo Costa Calls For Khamzat Chimaev Fight Next

Paulo Costa has vowed to shake off his recent poor run of form by returning to the old aggressive striking style that led him to five wins in a row at the start of his UFC career, and he sees Khamzat Chimaev as the perfect opponent to mark the beginning of this near chapter in his career.

“This is what I want,” Costa said on ‘The MMA Hour’ show regarding fighting Chimaev next. “But not only me. I want to bring the fight that people want to see. It’s very simple. Of course, they ask me who I want to fight next, I want to fight for the title. It’s obvious. But more important than this, I like to be and I’m trying to be the most entertaining fighter I can be. So I thought this fight against Sean would be very fun, but it wasn’t. It was boring. But next, the fight I think makes sense to bring a lot of entertainment, the fight would be fun, would be against Chimaev. This is perfect.

“He’s the perfect kind of fighter to bring back that old Paulo, to bring back the [aggression], to bring back the ferocity. I’m looking for that. … I can’t wait to bring back this because I need redemption. I’m so upset. Nobody is more upset than myself when I do a bad fight against Sean. I’m not talking about losses. Losses come and go.

“But I’m upset about myself. I need that fight and Chimaev is perfect guy. I think he’s a little bit crazy, so this will be a very fun fight.”

It’s certainly a big statement from Costa to call out one of the division’s leading stars at a time when he himself has lost four of his last five fights, but whether it actually happens or not is another matter.

As things stand it’s not clear when Chimaev might be healthy enough to compete again after he withdrew from his fight with Robert Whittaker at Saturday night’s UFC On ABC 6 event on short-notice due to an ongoing battle against a mystery illness.

And with Costa apparently eager to prove that he’s still a force to be reckoned with the UFC brass might just be eager to get him back in the Octagon sooner rather than later against another opponent to show what he can do, while still leaving the door open to fight Chimaev at a later date depending on how things go.

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