Paulo Costa finds himself in a health crisis as he faces a persistent staph infection in his right elbow. Costa, was originally scheduled to face Khamzat Chimaev at UFC 294. However, his ongoing medical condition has forced him to withdraw from the highly anticipated bout.
Costa’s partner and manager, Tamara Alves, confirmed his hospitalization and the necessity of a third surgery for the persistent staph infection. She disclosed that the infection remained “still active” in his right elbow, leaving him medically unfit to compete on the scheduled October 21 pay-per-view.
Following plenty of murmurs about Costa not wanting to be in the match up, his manager stepped in and showed a picture of his elbow after undergoing yet another surgery to deal with staph.
Despite Costa’s valiant efforts to stay in the contest, it became evident that his health needed to take precedence. His decision to withdraw was not taken lightly. He made it clear that he would only do so if he failed to receive medical clearance from the doctors, prioritizing his health over the competition.
He expressed his strong desire to face Chimaev in the Octagon, underlining his conviction that he would emerge victorious.
Chimaev was skeptical.
Paulo Costa’s most recent victory was at UFC 278, where he secured a unanimous decision win against Luke Rockhold. His journey to UFC 294 included negotiations for contests with ex-champion Robert Whittaker and Ikram Aliskerov, although both matchups fell through.
Kamaru Usman has since stepped up and will be moving up a weight class to face Chimaev.