There was some theatre down at the UFC Performance Institute yesterday involving one of the men scheduled to appear in the main event of this weekend’s UFC 279. Cameras captured the moment Khamzat Chimaev got into it with, and needed to be separated from, Paulo Costa.
Videos of the altercation have been circulating online ever since. You can see one angle of it below, thanks to TheMacLife.
The videos show Chimaev and Costa hurling insults while Chimaev, who appears to be mid-sauna session, is held back by a bunch of his pals.
Former UFC title challenger Jake Shields, who is more known for his social media musing as of late, was there on the scene. He told MMA Junkie what went down.
“I was there this morning working out with Paulo Costa, going over some techniques and just drilling, and all of a sudden Khamzat starts yelling at us and cussing Paulo like, ‘Well, you want to fight?’” he said. “We look over, and it’s him and like 10 dudes.
“So Paulo jumps up and starts talking shit. I run over to back up Paulo because I don’t know if they’re trying to jump him, right? There were a couple of guys, so I wasn’t sure if they were going to jump him. There were a couple of guys that we didn’t recognize.
“So we run over and start talking shit and Khamzat keeps going, ‘Let’s fight now, let’s fight now,’ but as he’s saying that he’s walking down the stairs. It seemed like it was kind of more of an act for the cameras than anything. I guess someone said afterward that he was scoping us out for 10 minutes. If he wanted to fight Paulo, he would’ve run in there and started swinging on him, not stood outside the cage and say, ‘Let’s fight right now. Let’s fight right now.’
“It seemed kind of a weak thing. I guess that’s why he was upset because Paulo called him a fake gangster, and that was a perfect example of him being a fake gangster.”
Costa later took to Twitter to aim a dig at Chimaev. He shared a picture of Shields and Nate Diaz and called Chimaev a “gourmet” cupcake who lives with a couple of “nerds”.
Chimaev also chimed in on Twitter, sharing an infamous moment where UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya humped Costa during a title fight.
Costa is coming off a bloody win over Luke Rockhold at UFC 278. The win snapped a two-fight losing skid for Costa, whose defeats were to Adesanya and fellow former title challenger Marvin Vettori.
Chimaev will be hoping to improve his undefeated record to 12-0 when he faces Diaz on Saturday. After a long spell on the sidelines Chimaev returned to action late last year and has beaten Li Jingliang and Gilbert Burns.