Khamzat Chimaev dismisses potential Paulo Costa fight, claims Leon Edwards ‘doesn’t want to see my face’


If Khamzat Chimaev beats Nate Diaz in the UFC 279 main event, he’ll have a lot of potential options for his next fight.

Don’t think Paulo Costa will be one.

Just days prior to his headline pay-per view, the undefeated Welterweight engaged in an altercation at the UFC Performance Institute (Las Vegas) with Costa. The footage, which Costa later released, showed the fighters exchanging words before coming face-to-face with a cage between them.

Costa later said if the Chechen mauler gets through Diaz on Saturday, “I want to fight you.” On Wednesday at UFC 279 media day, Chimaev responded to the altercation.

“Nothing [happened],” Chimaev stated. He was talking about me. He was talking s*** about me, but only once. He would like to be well-known now.

“Israel [Adesanya] for ***** ass. So what? The ***. was everywhere. He has to go back and do something easy.”

As far as possibly fighting Costa after Saturday night, Chimaev quickly dismissed the idea. While he has previously competed at middleweight, it doesn’t appear his return to 185 pounds will happen against Costa.

“Why [should I fight him]?” Chimaev said. He is a f*****g jerk. Somebody already f***** him up in the ass.”

Chimaev also addressed the welterweight division, where a win over Diaz at UFC 279 could have put him on a collision course with Kamaru Usman. Those plans changed in dramatic fashion after Usman suffered a shocking knockout loss to Leon Edwards at UFC 278 in August.

Chimaev was originally scheduled to fight Edwards, but multiple fights were cancelled between them. Chimaev was proud of the victory, particularly after it seemed that he was heading towards a loss.

“It was an amazing performance,” Chimaev said about Edwards. “He showed his heart. He knocked him unconscious at the very last moment. He is a great guy. He deserved that. He worked hard.”

That said, Chimaev isn’t so sure that Edwards wants to actually revisit their past rivalry now that he’s finally celebrating as UFC champion.

“He isn’t interested in talking about me,” Chimaev stated. He jumped at the chance to ask my name. He spoke about [Nate] Diaz, he spoke about [Jorge] Masvidal, [Kamaru] Usman, all of them. The guy doesn’t want to see my face.”

All signs are currently pointing toward an immediate rematch between Edwards and Usman in early 2023, though nothing has yet been offered or accepted.

If Usman is able to bounce back after the knockout, Chimaev would also be happy for the chance to fight him.

” I hope he is healthy,” Chimaev stated about Usman. We will all see. “I want him to come back. If he returns to the same level as before, then I would like to be able to fight that guy .”