Rivals Khamzat Chimaev and Paulo Costa might co-headline UFC 294 later this year.
Chael Sonnon revealed on The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani that Chimaev and Costa are sure to meet. The card is expected to feature Islam Makhachev defending against the winner of Charles Oliveira vs. Beneil Dariush as the headlining act.
Sonnen disclosed that the fight is beyond the idea stage, and all that’s left is a formal announcement.
“Well, so my understanding is Khamzat is going to fight Paulo Costa. They’ve even got a date. They’re gonna go out [to] Abu Dhabi, that’s a co-main event.Chael Sonnen on Paulo Costa vs. Khamzat Chimaev co-headlining UFC 294.
This would be a major fight between two of the promotion’s hottest prospects. Costa has been calling out Chimaev for some time, and there is a history of bad blood between them. While Chimaev has competed at welterweight, recent weight issues suggested that a move to middleweight was inevitable.
If the fight does happen, it is likely to be the event that drives the entire UFC 294 promotion, and one of the biggest fights of the year.
Paulo Costa has been targeting Khamzat Chimaev
Costa recently signed a massive new contract with the UFC. As part of the negotiations, Costa intimated that Chimaev was a fight that was on the table. Another fight he wanted was with Sean Strickland, which may still happen after UFC 294.
Though Chimaev will be the favorite, Costa is a risky fight for him. Chimaev will not be able to impose his wrestling on Costa, and if Costa were to land the same shots Gilbert Burns did, he could knock him out.
Henry Cejudo floated the same idea on his podcast last September when the fight was initially being discussed. Cejudo doesn’t believe Chimaev’s wrestling will get him too far, and Costa would win should they fight.
Considering the volatile nature of both fighters in and out of the octagon, we can only hope this fantasy fight comes true.