Paulo Costa has not fought in over a year and competed just once since late 2021.
The former middleweight title challenger was booked several times over the last few years but withdrew from multiple bouts, including two high-profile main events against Robert Whittaker (UFC Vegas 24) and Jared Cannonier (UFC Vegas 34).
I guess he wasn’t so “dialed in” after all.
“If you go to his Tapology [page], it shows not only the fights that he had but the fights that fell through and there’s a lot of them,” former UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping said on his podcast. “He’s out of his mind. I’m a fan of Costa, I love what he brings to the table. I was excited for his fight with Chimaev, you know they’ve been going back and forth, sending each other DM’s and stuff like that and Khamzat was in the DM’s of his wife but look at all these cancelled bouts. Ikram, Khamzat, Rockhold, Cannonier, Robert Whittaker, do you know what I mean. There’s more down there. He’s a bit of a... well he’s a bit of a madman isn’t he.”
Out of his mind or perhaps out of his wine.
Costa recently withdrew from his UFC 294 pay-per-view (PPV) co-main event against undefeated middleweight sensation Khamzat Chimaev after revealing an infection in his elbow that required multiple surgeries (more on that turn of events here).
Talk about buyer’s remorse.
Stepping in for Costa is former welterweight champion Kamaru Usman, who will take the Oct. 21 contest on just a few days’ notice with the promise of earning an immediate 185-pound title shot, assuming he prevails this weekend over “Borz.”
As for Costa ... it’s the back of the line until further notice.
Remember that MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 294 fight card right here, starting with the early ESPN+ “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. ET, before the pay-per-view (PPV) main card start time at 10 p.m. ET (also on ESPN+).
To check out the latest and greatest UFC 294: “Makhachev vs. Volkanovski 2” news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archive right here.