Paulo Costa had to withdraw from his UFC 294 match-up against Khamzat Chimaev on Saturday night due to a staph infection on his elbow that had required surgery, but it seems that the Brazilian star still managed to get into a fight at the event in Abu Dhabi after all.
Video footage from inside the Etihad Arena during the event shows an angry fan leaping from the stands at Costa while trying to land a punch. Costa stepped back to avoid the blow and then retaliated with a punch of his own before security staff intervened to break things up.
“Ya know what? Technically I fought in UFC 294,” Costa wrote on X. “I already beat 3 chenchens in a brawl. Give me my wins.”
“Don’t mess with me lil chenchen I send you back home with smack straight in ur big forehead ,” Costa said in another post alongside a video of the scuffle. “My right arm is working already .”
A brawl at UFC 294 including Paulo Costapic.twitter.com/WOSo1PMPoJ
— MMA Mania (@mmamania) October 21, 2023
In a separate youtube video Costa went into more detail about how the incident occurred.
“Motherf— say this, show this to me,” Costa said in a YouTube video, holding up his middle finger. “So I mock his face, and next time I come in the hallway [from backstage to arena], I saw him and wave to him. And when the guy is far from you he’s very brave. But when I came, he just came to talk but he tried ‘F U’ again, so I grab him and I pull him.”
“And then some other guys pull, three other guys pull, jump the fence. So security came, and the guy that showed me his finger, he jumped me as well. I just saw his big forehead and man, I can’t miss that big head. Even with my arm, I bam in the forehead. Straight there. So that’s a good lesson for some that think just because I’m injury I can’t f— you around. I will.”
There’s since been rumors that the person who attempted to attack him is none other than Shovkhal Churchaev, an MMA fighter from Chechnia who came into the spotlight last year for all the wrong reasons when he suckerpunched a rival fighter during a podcast and then pulled a gun on him.