Paulo Costa throws punches with Saudi fans during massive melee at UFC 294 amid recovery from injury

Paulo Costa encountered unexpected action outside the Octagon at UFC 291. Although he was not slated to compete, he was captured on camera defending himself at the Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi. Social media videos showed the current No. 6 UFC middleweight fighter punching people and being guarded by security. However, the cause behind this unforeseen altercation still remains shrouded in mystery.

Khamzat Chimaev was the original opponent for Costa in the co-main event. However, a staph infection removed him from the card, and he was replaced by Kamaru Usman. This unforeseen development has undoubtedly left fans disappointed, as they were eagerly awaiting the clash between these two formidable fighters. Sadly for Usman, he eventually lost the fight.

Paulo Costa involved in heated brawl at UFC 294

In a shocking incident during UFC 294, an unidentified man leaped from the stands and initiated an attack on the UFC middleweight fighter, Costa. Costa reacted swiftly as security personnel rushed to assist him. The motive behind the altercation and the identity of the assailant remain unclear.

Paulo Costa subsequently shared a video of the encounter on his social media, taking the chance to convey a message to Khamzat Chimaev, who was initially slated as his opponent for the event. The Brazilian fighter did not receive a warm reception at the venue, encountering jeers from the audience.

Costa had to withdraw from the main event for undisclosed reasons at the time, leading to Kamaru Usman facing Chimaev instead. Despite swirling rumors of Costa’s withdrawal, the true reason emerged later. Costa had contracted a staph infection, which demanded three surgeries and a brief hospital stay.

Meanwhile, Chimaev secured a majority decision win over Usman, continuing his impressive streak. Costa’s last bout dates back to August 2022, when he clinched a victory against former champion Luke Rockhold at UFC 278.

Paulo Costa injury update

UFC middleweight Paulo Costa shares a significant update about his injury, which resulted in his withdrawal from the co-main event of UFC 294 against Khamzat Chimaev. In a prior post on X, Costa disclosed details of an elbow surgery he underwent during his training camp.

Paulo Costa
Image via The Sun

The pictures he posted were startling, showcasing a severely injured elbow with numerous stitches. While Costa asserted his swift recovery and maintained that he was concurrently training, his position on the UFC 294 card was subsequently changed. Kamaru Usman, the ex-welterweight champion, stepped up to face the undefeated Khamzat Chimaev in his stead. Usman would lose causing disappointment.

In a recent update, Costa informed fans of his elbow’s remarkable progress. He predicts a full recovery within a week, enabling him to train at peak capacity.

In the aftermath of UFC 294, Conor McGregor called for the matchup between Costa and Chimaev to be rebooked. McGregor felt that Chimaev’s performance against Usman did not warrant a title shot at middleweight.

Is a rematch between Khamzat Chimeav and Paulo Costa something you believe the UFC will do? Leave a comment!


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