Paulo Costa is on board with UFC’s newly-signed middleweight prospect, Bo Nickal, but it is “Borrachinha” who believes he should be next to get his hands on undefeated contender, Khamzat Chimaev.
On Friday, Costa was in attendance at Bellator 286’s weigh ins and had himself a great time. After showing off his middleweight physique and then indulging in a disgusting raw liver eating contest (see HERE), Costa caught up with MMA Junkie to discuss the middleweight division and what’s next for him inside of the Octagon.
Costa was first asked about Nickal and what he thinks about the rising middleweight sensation. Nickal is coming off his second-straight win on Dana White’s Contender Series and felt it necessary to callout Chimaev earlier this week, but Costa believes the former Penn State wrestling standout needs to slow his roll just a little bit.
“The people talk a lot about Bo Nickal here in the United States, but you need to see more,” said Costa. “Of course he’s the real deal, he’s a good guy, young guy – very talented. But MMA is so complicated. He needs to prove he can fight the top guys, but not against (Chimaev).”
Instead, Costa believes he should be next in line for a clash with Khamzat. After all, UFC officials may force Chimaev to move up from welterweight after his epic weight miss at UFC 279. There’s also some history between Costa and Khamzat as the two fighters nearly came to blows in the leadup to UFC 279 last month.
“I wish that fight,” Costa said. “But I think he will not fight me. He’s ducking. He’s avoiding me, he’s scared as f*ck. He’s calling out Colby Covington right now. I have his hat.”
Unfortunately for Costa, Chimaev seems eager to return to UFC’s welterweight division and continue his push for a 170-pound title. Khamzat just called for a fight with Colby Covington earlier this week so it’s unknown at this time what “Borz” will do next.
That leaves Costa on the lookout for another potential opponent. Coming off a memorable Fight of the Night performance against former UFC middleweight champion Luke Rockhold at UFC 278, Costa is hoping to land a matchup with former middleweight king Robert Whittaker.
“Maybe Whittaker,” Costa said. “January. Doctors say January should be good. This would be amazing I think.”