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‘Savage’ Paulo Costa will make Khamzat suffer at UFC 294, take over Abu Dhabi — ‘I hate that dude’

UFC 278 Press Conference Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC

Paulo Costa hates Khamzat Chimaev.

I’m not sure what transpired between “The Eraser” and “Borz” to elicit such a strong emotional response, other than both fighters occupying real estate in the crowded middleweight title chase, but Costa wants to use that hatred to fuel his performance against Chimaev at the UFC 294 pay-per-view (PPV) event on Oct. 21 in Abu Dhabi.

“I hate that dude, I’m training to make him suffer,” Costa told MMA Junkie. “Not only to beat him, but I want to do that in great style. I put all my skills and all my concentration, focus to be better than ever. Physically, mentally, technically. All parts together to help me perform better than ever. I know over there in Abu Dhabi it will be kind of his house, but I don’t care. I’m going there to take over.”

Chimaev (12-0) has not competed since his first-round submission victory over Kevin Holland at UFC 279 last fall, a welterweight bout that ended in disaster when “Borz” blew up the scale. It appears Chimaev will return to middleweight for the foreseeable future and could put himself in title contention with a strong showing against Costa.

The 14-2 Brazilian has also spent all of 2023 on the sidelines, having last seen action at UFC 278. “The Eraser” took home a unanimous decision victory over former middleweight champion Luke Rockhold and was expected to make his return against Ikram Aliskerov at UFC 291 in Salt Lake City. Instead, Aliskerov will join the UFC 294 lineup opposite No. 12-ranked Nassourdine Imavov.

“Honestly, I don’t see any chance of him winning the fight,” Costa added. “This will be savage. This will be fireworks. This will be wild. I bring my best. I will be there. I think the winner of this fight is going to be the first for the title shot. I think the winner between me and Khamzat will be next in the line for the title shot.”

For the current UFC 294 fight card and Abu Dhabi lineup click here.

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