UFC 294 fight compromised? Khamzat Chimaev’s opponent reveals recent surgery

Khamzat Chimaev's UFC 294 bout with Paulo Costa is seemingly compromised. Also, why reveal this now?

By: Anton Tabuena | 2 months ago
UFC 294 fight compromised? Khamzat Chimaev’s opponent reveals recent surgery
IMAGO / David Yeazell / USA TODAY Sports and @BorrachinhaMMA

After over a year of inactivity, Khamzat Chimaev is looking to return against Paulo Costa at UFC 294. Unfortunately, Costa just revealed that he’s been dealing with an injury bad enough to need surgery recently.

Paulo Costa reveals injury weeks before Khamzat Chimaev bout

Paulo Costa revealed in a series of social media posts that he had elbow surgery just three weeks ago. UFC 294 happens on October 21, and Costa says he plans to still push through with the fight, even if he is seemingly compromised.

“How strong are u? U never really know until you get tested by fire 🔥 of life. I did surgery 3 weeks ago, 10 seams size,” Costa wrote. “But I know how tough I’m and continues improving and overcoming myself. It doesn’t stop me, still doing my things sparrings and everything.

“I still training hard every single day since day one of surgery. I’m built different,” he wrote in a follow up.

Paulo Costa shows UFC 294 training videos after injury

Costa also posted recent training videos showing him still using the injured arm, but not really throwing with power. (WARNING: Some of the photos are a bit graphic, if you’re squeemish.)

Why does Paulo Costa still want to fight Khamzat Chimaev while injured?

It isn’t just Chimaev that’s been inactive, as Costa hasn’t fought since beating Luke Rockhold in August 2022. With a couple of fights falling through, and over a year without getting a fight purse, it wouldn’t be surprising or even uncommon if money is part of why Costa seems set on still competing despite the injury.

The only irregular thing in this scenario is Costa revealing the surgery and injury ahead of time. It’ll be interesting to see if he eventually explains the reasoning for doing so, or if the fight even actually pushes through at this point.

Costa, the former UFC title challenger, is 14-2 in his career. Chimaev on the other hand, is 12-0 and looking to get a title shot of his own, that’s supposedly being hidden, with a win at UFC 294.

MMA: UFC 278- Costa vs Rockhold, Aug 20, 2022; Salt Lake City, Utah, USA; Paulo Costa (red gloves) reacts after defeating Luke Rockhold (blue gloves) during UFC 278 at Vivint Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Swinger-USA TODAY Sports, 20.08.2022 22:00:00, 18905959, NPStrans, Luke Rockhold, MMA PUBLICATIONxINxGERxSUIxAUTxONLY Copyright: xJeffreyxSwingerx 18905959
IMAGO / Jeffrey Swinger / USA TODAY Sports

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About the author
Anton Tabuena
Anton Tabuena

Anton Tabuena is the Managing Editor for Bloody Elbow. He’s been covering MMA and combat sports since 2009, and has also fought in MMA, Muay Thai and kickboxing.

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