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Khamzat Chimaev ‘needs to have balls’ to fight me

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Paulo Costa is accusing Khamzat Chimaev of avoiding him.

Costa (14-3 MMA, 6-3 UFC) was scheduled to take on Chimaev this past October at UFC 294, but an elbow infection forced him out of the bout. Chimaev ended up facing Kamaru Usman instead and won by majority decision.

The fight between Costa and Chimaev (13-0 MMA, 7-0 UFC) didn’t end up getting rebooked. Instead, Costa drew former champion Robert Whittaker at UFC 298, losing a thrilling decision. Costa is under the impression that Chimaev wants no part of him.

“He needs to stop to running,” Costa told Submission Radio. “He needs to have balls to face me. Yes, for a long time, long time, this guy just avoided this fight. He has no balls. If the guys don’t push him, he has no balls to fight me.

“He wants to fight easy fights. He wants to fight guys, you know, he don’t want to fight guys like me, (Robert) Whittaker or somebody else like that. He wants to fight guys with no wrestling, no jiu-jitsu game, no grappling. You know, something like that.”

As for what’s next, Costa is open to several top contenders, including Usman. He also has several losses he’d like to avenge.

“Whittaker is a fight that I wanted to make years ago,” Costa said. “And I still want to fight him again. Whittaker in the near future, you know, rematch. I want to rematch against everybody that I lost against. (Israel) Adesanya, against Marvin (Vettori). (Sean) Strickland is a great fight to do. Usman is a great fight. Chimaev. They have so many good names, exciting fights to do in middleweight right now that makes me so excited.”

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