The Brazilian middleweight hopes that with enough taunting, he’ll get Chimaev to bite and move up to 185 pounds.
“Chimaev, because he’s on [a] high,” Costa said. “I stole some of his high. I stole his sleep, I stole his cap, I stole his main event fight. I stole everything.”
Costa turned directly to the camera and dared his would-be opponent to move up.
“Chiamaev, you need to do something, motherf*****,” he said. “I stole everything that you had. Your hat, I stole your night’s sleep, I stole your weigh-in. You are disturbed, so crazy. ‘I cannot do this, I will die.’ So I think I need to fight that guy.”
Costa doesn’t rule out a new contract with the UFC after making a disclosed $65,000 to show and $65,000 to win for his UFC 278 decision over Luke Rockhold. He does want a bump in pay, however, and said his girlfriend/manager Tamara Alves could meet soon with UFC exec Hunter Campbell to discuss the future.
Where “Borrachinha” does draw the line is his weight for the fight with Chimaev. Clocking in at around 207 pounds, he said, on The MMA Hour set, he was leaner than usual and flexed for viewers to make his point.
“I cannot do 170,” Costa said. “You think I can make 170? 185 is the most deep that I can do.”
Costa offered Chimaev a scrap before UFC 279 when the fighters and their respective camps rans into each other at the UFC Performance Institute. Were it not for Chimaev’s teammates (and a cage between them), things might have gotten physical.
Instead, Costa boasted, they planted a seed that resulted in Chimaev missing weight.
“For sure, [he missed weight because of me],” Costa said. “Because he became so angry, so stressed, and he almost – he gave up. He gave up. He missed the weight for almost eight pounds, almost nine.
“He gave up, for sure. I stole everything from him. Hype, soul, night of sleep, main event, his hat – do something.”
Costa made a show of defiling a hat that reportedly belonged to Chimaev and paraded the item during Monday’s interview.
UFC President Dana White said after Chimaev’s weight miss and quick win over Kevin Holland that the Chechen fighter’s bulk is a “problem” and could force him to middleweight; he also claimed Chimaev had started fight week lighter than previous bouts. Chimaev’s coach, meanwhile, took responsibility for coming in heavier than usual and attributed the miss to the fighter’s long bout with COVID-19 complications.
Despite the miss, Chimaev made a huge splash as a fight-week villain for his unrepentant attitude about his issue on the scale and his lightning-quick submission of Holland. Costa wants that shine to rub off on him.