Paulo Costa Wants To Fight Khamzat Chimaev, Believes Dricus du Plessis Should Get Title Shot Next

Paulo Costa Wants To Fight Khamzat Chimaev, Believes Dricus du Plessis Should Get Title Shot Next

Byron Pillay
updated at October 24, 2023 at 10:12 AM
  • Paulo Costa was scheduled to fight Khamzat Chimaev before an injury ruled him out of contention
  • Chimaev earned a title shot against Sean Strickland by beating Nigeria's Kamaru Usman at UFC 294
  • Brazil's Costa wants Chimaev in December and called for du Plessis to fight Strickland for the title

Paulo Costa has his eyes focused solely on Khamzat Chimaev.

The Brazilian UFC Middleweight has a score to settle with the undefeated Chimaev and has highlighted December as the perfect time to do it.

Paulo Costa after entering the Octagon.
Paulo Costa still wants to fight Khamzat Chimaev before the undefeated fighter takes on Sean Strickland. Image: Josh Hedges.
Source: Getty Images

Why does Costa want Chimaev?

The two were scheduled to meet in the co-main event of UFC 294, but a staph infection in Costa’s elbow meant he could not be medically cleared for the bout.

Kamaru Usman stepped up on short notice, MMA Junkie reported, and fought Chimaev at the pay-per-view in the United Arab Emirates.

Chimaev won the bout unanimously but didn’t impress champion Sean Strickland with his performance.

Costa agrees with Strickland

The champion shared his thoughts after the fight, saying that Chimaev didn’t deserve a shot based on his performance. Chimaev is only ranked ninth in the division but is next in line for the belt, as per Dana White.

Costa was quick to agree with Strickland’s sentiments and urged the UFC to give him a fight against the UAE star next. Costa, who is ranked sixth in the Middleweight division, also added that South Africa’s Dricus du Plessis should be next to take on Strickland.

Du Plessis was scheduled to face Israel Adesanya for the title but withdrew from the fight due to a foot injury.

Strickland then stepped up in his place at UFC 293 and won the belt from the Nigerian-born New Zealander.

Why du Plessis should fight Strickland next

Who will challenge Sean Strickland for the UFC Middleweight title next?

The American fighter won the title when he beat Israel Adesanya at UFC 293, shocking the world, Sports Brief reported.

While the Middleweight division has no shortage of challengers, only one person should get a crack at Strickland: Dricus du Plessis.

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Byron Pillay
Byron Pillay is a sports writer and Head of the Department at Sports Brief (joined in 2022) with over 10 years of experience in community journalism and a degree in journalism from Caxton's Cadet School.
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