Sharing a tense back-and-forth ahead of their October pairing in Abu Dhabi, former middleweight title challenger, Paulo Costa has now predicted a quickfire win over rival, Khamzat Chimaev at UFC 294 – envisioning an opening round knockout win over the unbeaten finisher.
Costa, the current number seven ranked middleweight contender, will welcome Chimaev back to the 185 pound division at UFC 294 in the Middle East, returning to the Octagon for the first time since he featured at UFC 278 back in August, where he defeated former champion, Luke Rockhold with a unanimous decision win.
As for Chimaev, the Chechen-born contender most recently co-headlined UFC 279 back in September, submitting Kevin Holland in an impromptu co-headliner at a catchweight limit, stopping the Riverside native in the opening round.
Both men have issued barbs in each other’s direction ahead of their October matchup, with AllStars MMA staple, Chimaev vowing to make the Brazilian “cry” inside the Octagon at UFC 294.
Paulo Costa predicts first round KO over Khamzat Chimaev in October
For Costa, the Belo Horizonte native has claimed Chimaev is a “dead man walking” ahead of the bout, and has now predicted a first round win over the 12-0 berserker in their co-main event slot.
“I think this fight will be crazy and it’s going to end in the first round,” Paulo Costa said during an interview on MMA Fighting.
“Knockout, I will not try to submit him (Khamzat Chimaev),” Paulo Costa explained. “I’m a black belt but I will not try to submit him. I don’t think he’s going to try to submit me as well. So explosive of a guy, so full of energy. I prefer knockout.”
Challenging for middleweight gold back in 2020, Costa suffered a second round knockout loss to current and two-time divisional champion, Israel Adesanya in Abu Dhabi, UAE.