Not many fighters have been willing to call out the undefeated Khamzat Chimaev during his rampant rise to stardom so far, but it seems that former middleweight title challenger Paulo Costa is eager to fight him next.
“Chimaev, because he’s on [a] high,” Costa said when asked on The MMA Hour show who he wanted to fight next. “I stole some of his high. I stole his sleep, I stole his cap, I stole his main event fight. I stole everything.
“Chiamaev, you need to do something, motherf*****,” he said. “I stole everything that you had. Your hat, I stole your night’s sleep, I stole your weigh-in. You are disturbed, so crazy. ‘I cannot do this, I will die.’ So I think I need to fight that guy.”
Chimaev had been involved in a verbal confrontation with Costa at the UFC Performance Institute in Las Vegas just a few days prior to UFC 279, so there’s already momentum behind the potential match-up, though the fact that ‘Borz’ is on the very of title contention at welterweight, while Costa is looking to get back into the title picture at middleweight could potentially put a spanner in the works.
“I cannot do 170,” Costa said. “You think I can make 170? 185 is the most deep that I can do.”
Of course Khamzat infamously came in 7.5lbs overweight for his latest 170lb fight, which puts his future in that division in doubt, and that’s something that Costa is happy to take credit for.
“For sure, [he missed weight because of me],” Costa claimed. “Because he became so angry, so stressed, and he almost – he gave up. He gave up. He missed the weight for almost eight pounds, almost nine.
“He gave up, for sure. I stole everything from him. Hype, soul, night of sleep, main event, his hat – do something.”
Chimaev ended up competing at 180lbs in a hastily arranged fight with Kevin Holland at UFC 279, bulldozing through him via submission in less than half a round, and he also has two other wins at middleweight during his 6-0 UFC run so far.
So there’s no doubt that at some stage Chimaev will likely move up to middleweight permanently, where a fight with Costa now seems almost inevitable, but whether that will occur anytime soon remains to be seen.