“I don’t fight the Russians.” Brazilian UFC superstar fears our fighters
May 23, 2023 05:15 pm UTC Audio Version: Your browser does not support the audio element.
Costa will refuse to fight Aliskerov. Chimaev also scared him?
Brazilian UFC middleweight fighter and former title contender Paulo Costa is once again trying to avoid an opponent assigned to him by the UFC matchmakers. Less than a week ago, promotion head Dana White announced the upcoming UFC 291 tournament, where, among other things, Paulo Costa was scheduled to fight unranked Russian fighter Ikram Aliskerov, who only has one fight in the organization. behind him.
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Aliskerov made his debut at UFC 288 and brutally knocked out the strong American Phil Howes. Apparently, Dana was so impressed that he immediately ordered Ikram a top 5 opponent. And this is not the only such case: our compatriot Abusupyan Magomedov also had a tough opponent, Sean Strickland, after a spectacular debut.
“Let’s start with the fact that Costa hasn’t fought in a long time. Strickland fights a lot, so the answer is yes, we want to see what level Aliskerov and Magomedov are at. You have no idea how good some fighters who are not in the top 15 are. When we think about fights, we know that some guys are already ready to fight the best opponents. Both Costa and Strickland will be fighting very tough fighters, although they are currently unranked,” Dana White explained at a press conference.
But if Strickland is up for a fight and jokes that he just wants to make money for a new bike, then Costa refuses.
Subscribers on social networks asked the Brazilian if he would fight Aliskerov. The reaction was revealing: “The UFC is lying. What the hell is Ikram? I don’t fight the Russians.”
And how not to remember Costa’s skirmishes with another fighter – Khamzat Chimaev, who, although he represents Sweden, is from Russia. Chimaev and Kosta have long hated each other: before the UFC 279 tournament, they had a skirmish at the UFC Performance Institute, but it did not come to a fight. As a result, the promotion decided to bring the fighters to Abu Dhabi and at the same time check Chimaev’s ability for a higher weight class.
Costa seemed to agree, he confirmed, but then pitched in that he didn’t want to wait that long and was ready to fight someone in the summer. Otherwise, the Brazilian demanded compensation for the downtime and, apparently, angered the UFC so much that they released him under a powerful new light.
It should be remembered that Costa has long disagreed with the UFC. The Brazilian complained that he wasn’t getting the respect he deserved and still had a rookie contract. In this context, Paulo refused to fight Whittaker in February, even though the fight could well have made him a candidate, and then negotiated a long and tedious new contract. In May, Costa suddenly volunteered to fight Jan Blachowicz, and at short notice, but the desire quickly faded and the Pole accused the Brazilian of avoiding the fight.
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No wonder the UFC is now not standing at the ceremony with the Brazilian. A possible defeat for Aliskerov, which is quite real, could knock Costa out of the top five and at the same time reason with the Brazilian. Paulo reads these risks perfectly and is trying his hardest to walk away from an awkward fight with a Russian who has already shown his knockout power. Costa’s fears are understandable, but he can’t seem to avoid the fight without dirty tricks like faking an injury.