Paulo Costa attracted a lot of attention in the week leading up to the UFC 278 event, even though he did not even perform at the event. The Brazilian middleweight fighter had a verbal conflict with Khamzat Chimaev, and the situation seemed at some points as if it could escalate into a physical confrontation.
Chimaev was surrounded by a handful of his teammates and friends throughout the incident, and Costa was accompanied by Jake Shields. With this, the Brazilian attracted the sympathy of the fans because he showed no fear, despite the great numerical superiority in favor of Chimaev.
Paulo Costa vs Khamzat Chimaev ?
In the rest of the week, Chimaev further drew the ire of the fans with a huge fall on the scales and other incidents that accompanied him, and Costa only attracted more sympathy. The Brazilian has one match remaining under his current contract with the UFC, and when asked by Ariel Helwani about who he would prefer to make that appearance with, Costa answered: “I think [next] will be Chimaev,” Costa answered Helwani when he was asked who his next opponent will be.
“Yeah, I think because he is all hype. I stole some of his hype. I stole his sleep, I stole his cap, I stole his main event fight. I stole everything. You need to do something motherf*cker. I stole everything that you had”.
The match between Costa and Chimaev certainly makes sense now, especially since Chimaev will have to wait for the rematch between Kamaru Usman and Leon Edwards before getting a shot at the welterweight title.
"Chimaev, you need to do something, m*****f*****, I stole everything that you had." @BorrachinhaMMA had a message for Khamzat Chimaev 👀 #TheMMAHour
▶️ https://t.co/OUk8Jph4Fk pic.twitter.com/oWt8awbqxw — MMAFighting.com (@MMAFighting) September 19, 2022
If he fights with Costa, he won't have to go through a difficult weight loss like he normally goes through for the welterweight category, and he will get a chance to join the very top of the middleweight category. With all the animosity between them, it would be a very interesting matchup, but we certainly hope that Costa signs a new contract with the UFC after he serves out the last one under his current contract.