UFC 279: Paulo Costa believes Khamzat Chimaev doesn't want to fight him

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Paulo Costa has stated that he believes Khamzat Chimaev doesn’t want to fight him following their altercation last week.

UFC 279 has been and gone and it’s safe to say that it was one of the most dramatic UFC fight weeks in recent memory. In addition to the press conference being cancelled due to a backstage scuffle, we also saw drama at the weigh-ins as Khamzat Chimaev’s failure to hit the mark led to the three main fights on the card being switched around.

While Chimaev did eventually manage to defeat Kevin Holland in the co-main event, many won’t forget the tricky road that led him there – as well as the difficulties he caused for the promotion throughout.

As well as that, though, we also witnessed a strange back and forth between Khamzat and Paulo Costa at the UFC Performance Institute.

It appeared as if ‘Borz’ was picking a fight with the middleweight sensation, only to decide against an actual confrontation.

Fans have since been discussing the idea of the pair squaring off in the future but in Costa’s mind, that isn’t likely to happen.

Video: Paulo Costa questions Khamzat Chimaev

“I do like [a fight with Chimaev]”, Costa said. “But, I don’t think it’ll happen, because he’s avoiding fighting me, you know. He doesn’t want to fight me, he just wants to fight guys smaller than him and guys who have no wrestling, have no takedown defense, have no power to f*** him up.”

“He knows who I am, and even his coach and his manager don’t want that fight. His guys want to fight Kevin Holland, small guy, Gilbert [Burns], and I appreciate those guys. But, he chooses who he wants to fight.”

The next step

Paulo Costa is coming off the back of a morale-boosting win over Luke Rockhold at UFC 278 and even though it wasn’t his finest hour, it got him back in the win column which is something the Brazilian sorely needed.

He still hasn’t committed to staying in the UFC beyond his current deal but if he does, there’s every chance he could climb back up the ladder at 185 pounds, so long as he remains focused.

On the flip side, Khamzat Chimaev is in a difficult position as he tries to figure out whether to stay at welterweight or make the move up to middleweight on a full-time basis.

If the UFC wants to capitalise on this bizarre feud, this could be a fun contest that would teach us a lot about both men.

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