Paulo Costa and Khamzat Chimaev got into a heated argument at the UFC Performance Institute earlier this week that almost turned into an all-out brawl. If you believe Chimaev, a fight was only avoided because his training partners held him back. According to Costa, the whole thing was just a show for the cameras.
In an interview with Full Send MMA’s Shawny Mack, the popular Brazilian middleweight described how ‘Borz’ and his team withdrew quickly after it looked like Costa was willing to throw down.
“You know, I don’t think he was actually there for fight,” Costa said. “I think, you know, he was just for show something for the cameras because we are training, just me, Jake Shields and [Costa’s girlfriend] Tamara. You know, three guys and he had there with him ten guys of his team. And the door to the mat was open whole time and he was there, just to watch us. So if he would like to fight, why he didn’t jump in the mat and fight us? Maybe he was scared of Tamara, who was recording. Tamara is strong, man. Very tough. Maybe this.”
“I say okay, come on. He say ‘No, come you here.’ Oh my God, okay. Let’s go there. When I went there, three of his team guys came and blocked the gate and Chimaev was like ‘Oh, hold me, hold me, hold me. Hold me, guys! Hold me! I will fight Paulo right now! Man, f***, he’s not a gangster. He’s a fake gangster.”
Paulo Costa doesn’t even think a fight against Chimaev in the cage is likely down the road.
“I don’t think he wants that beef, you know?” Costa said. “He knows he’s just used to bully short guys, small guys, when he saw me he didn’t expect I act like that, ‘Okay, let’s go right now, let’s fight right now.’ So he froze. He didn’t expect that. He wasn’t real fearsome. … I’m one of the biggest guys in the middleweight division and he cannot handle me, just he want to bully the small guys. I know this kind of bully, I know him well … He was gifted when he fought Burns. He don’t have any chance against me.”
Donning customizable LED glasses that read ‘Gourmet Chenchen is scared,’ Paulo Costa wrapped up the interview by declaring “If Chimaev for some reason beats Nate Diaz and he want that fight, I’ll be right here.”
“Watch out, watch your back because I can fight you anywhere, any time, any place,” he said.
Costa is 14-2 and coming off a unanimous decision win over Luke Rockhold at UFC 278. If the UFC is interested in matching Chimaev up against him, they’ll have to do it fast. The Brazilian has one more fight on his current UFC contract, and is looking forward to testing the waters of free agency.