UFC Middleweight stalwart Paulo Costa has accused Khamzat Chimaev of avoiding a confrontation with him and going after fighters that lack wrestling.
Chimaev chooses who he wants to fight: Paulo Costa
Following his weight miss and reshuffling of the fight card, ‘Borz’ went onto defeat Kevin Holland via submission in the first round, a fight which the Swede was expected to have against Nate Diaz.
Following UFC 279, Dana White hinted that Chimaev may potentially make a jump up to middleweight, and having been undefeated in his career, it is expected that he will be pitted against the creme-de-la-creme at 185. Be that as it may, Paulo Costa believes Chimaev will avoid facing him the Octagon.
Speaking to Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour, ‘The Eraser’ opined that Chimaev is ducking away from facing him and also accused him of going after fighters who aren’t finessed in wrestling, nor have the ability to finish him in the cage, mentioning Holland and Gilbert Burns.
“I do like [a fight with Chimaev]”, said Costa, “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*ck 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,” he added. [H/T BJPenn.com]
A former Middleweight title challenger and currently ranked 6th in the division, Costa broke his two-fight losing streak against Luke Rockhold at UFC 278 last month via unanimous decision.
Aside from Costa, the reigning 185-pound champion Israel Adesanya also lashed out at Chimaev for missing weight before UFC 279. Even though Izzy praised Chimaev for being a couple of steps ahead of Holland in the Octagon, he also slammed the Swedish fighter for failing to make weight.
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