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UFC 294: Paulo Costa vs. Khamzat Chimaev Bout Status Sparks Relevance

Paulo Costa's co-main event spot at UFC 294 is uncertain due to a potential staph infection in his elbow. Possible replacements include Kamaru Usman and Robert Whittaker.

The highly anticipated co-main event at UFC 294, scheduled for October 21 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, featuring Paulo Costa and Khamzat Chimaev, is currently in question due to Costa's bursitis in his left elbow. Costa, who has been in Abu Dhabi for about 50 days, had his elbow drained in Brazil before his arrival. However, recent pictures of his elbow have raised concerns about a potential staph infection.

The UFC has not yet offered the fight to any other fighters as Costa is still expected to compete. However, if medical tests confirm a staph infection, the bout could be in jeopardy. UFC CEO Dana White acknowledged the possibility of the fight being off during a press conference.

Speculation has arisen regarding a potential replacement for Costa if he is unable to fight. UFC Hall of Famer Daniel Cormier hinted in an Instagram video that he knew who the UFC was considering as a replacement. This has led to speculation that former champions Kamaru Usman or Israel Adesanya could step in. However, it is highly unlikely that Adesanya will be chosen due to his recent loss and the UFC's desire for him to rest.

Usman, on the other hand, has been training and his friend and teammate, Gilbert Burns, posted a video of him sparring, indicating that he may be preparing for a potential fight against Chimaev. Other fighters on the list of potential replacements include ex-champion Robert Whittaker, Jared Cannonier, and Dricus du Plessis.

Usman's previous win over Sean Strickland at welterweight makes him an attractive option, especially now that Strickland is the middleweight champion. The UFC was previously hesitant to have Usman move up to middleweight while Adesanya was still the champion, but with Strickland holding the belt, that is no longer a concern.

Ultimately, Costa's health will determine the course of action for the UFC. The organization will spend time gathering updates on Costa's condition while also assessing the interest and availability of potential replacements. As Costa's arm continues to heal, the situation remains fluid and subject to change.

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