Paulo Costa was unable to partake in his scheduled fight with Khamzat Chimaev at UFC 294 due to health concerns. Despite this, Costa made a noticeable appearance at the Ultimate Fighting Championship event in Abu Dhabi on October 21, engaging himself in more than one scuffle. Originally, Costa was expected to face off against the undefeated Chimaev. Unfortunately, a staph infection in his elbow forced him to back out. However, Costa wasn’t absent at the event and witnessed his replacement, former welterweight king, Kamaru Usman, fall victim to a majority decision loss against Chimaev from the ringside.
The scuffle in question took place during the undercard of the event and was captured on video by spectators. Costa addressed the incident in a later appearance on “The MMA Hour” delineating the confrontation in detail. According to his account, as he was proceeding towards his seat, an attendee beckoned him over only to disrespect him by gesturing insultingly. The security personnel attempted to defuse the situation and usher Costa along as the main event was approaching. However, the incident had already upset Costa who admitted considering hitting his taunter.
Costa decided to confront the man when he crossed paths with him again while returning from the restroom. The person, much to Costa’s irritation, had moved three rows back. Costa describes inviting the man to come down and face him. However, the situation escalated as people, seemingly part of the man’s group, intervened. Costa was eventually pulled away by security, but not before he had a chance to retaliate when the man tried jumping at him. The security’s intervention prevented any further escalation, and Costa returned to his normal activities for the rest of the evening.
Despite missing his turn on the Octagon draing UFC 294, Costa hasn’t sidelined himself for long. According to a recent social media post, the Brazilian fighter is planning to make a comeback sometime in December.