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Henry Cejudo Expects 'Psychological War' To Determine Paulo Costa vs. Khamzat Chimaev: 'I Think Of José Aldo vs. Conor McGregor…'

After a lengthy wait for the UFC returns of both welterweight star Khamzat Chimaev and former middleweight title challenger Paulo Costa, fans are getting both at the same time.

Costa, who currently occupies the #7 spot at 185 pounds, hasn’t competed since a decision victory over ex-champion Luke Rockhold last August at UFC 278. Chimaev, meanwhile, was in action a few weeks later at UFC 279, where he decimated Kevin Holland in quick time.

Since then, the pair have had clouds of uncertainty over their respective Octagon careers. The Brazilian’s has surrounded a contractual dispute with the promotion, while the Chechen-born Swede’s has been centered around the fallout from the sizable weight miss that saw his matchup with Nate Diaz scrapped.

Now, with both issues seemingly cleared up, their paths are slated to cross at the UFC 294 pay-per-view, scheduled for Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Arena on October 21.

Although the booking was only recently announced, the two have used their social media presences to send jibes back and forth for months. That trend has unsurprisingly continued in recent days, with “Borz” vowing to make Costa cry and “Borrachinha” promising to “kill” Chimaev.

The question is, which of the two will take the other’s words to heart?

Cejudo Outlines His ‘Biggest Question’ Ahead Of Costa vs. Chimaev

During a recent video uploaded to his YouTube channel, former two-division UFC champion Henry Cejudo gave his thoughts on the upcoming grudge match between the undefeated Chimaev and middleweight powerhouse Costa.

With both men appearing set to divulge in trash talk through the build-up to their Middle East-held showdown, “Triple C” thinks the contest could come to whichever fighter is able to successfully get in the head of their opponent.

In that sense, he likened the scenario to Conor McGregor’s record-breaking, title-winning knockout of José Aldo back in 2015.

“The biggest question that I have with Khamzat Chimaev and Paulo Costa: who is it that’s having fun and who is it that’s actually getting emotional?” Cejudo said. “If you do get emotional, what that leads to is a lot of mistakes, and that tends to happen with a lot of fighters. I can tell you one thing about Paulo… He is a troll and he does have fun on the internet… Paulo Costa takes no prisoners. Now look at Khamzat. Khamzat will troll, but how serious is he about this? Will he literally try to go in there and really make Paulo Costa cry, as he (said)? Will he be able to handle someone (like Costa)? … I’m curious to see how it’s actually gonna (unfold).

“The person who ends up or winds up getting emotional in this fight is the person that’s gonna make mistakes… It’s a psychological war. Who’s the person who’s gonna have the right gameplan and be mentally strong and mentally focused?” Cejudo continued. “When there’s a lot of smack-talking going on, I go back and I think of José Aldo vs. Conor McGregor. Guys, let’s call a spade a spade. José Aldo was sh*tting bricks. (McGregor) got into José Aldo’s head and José Aldo got emotional, wanted to fight right away.”

McGregor slept Aldo just 13 seconds into their PPV headliner after the Brazilian attempted an uncharacteristic blitz. Since then, most have acknowledged that the Irishman’s intense verbal barrage pre-fight played into Aldo’s aggressive approach.

Both Costa and Chimaev will hope to avoid falling victim to that emotional reaction when they share the Octagon at UFC 294, a card that will be topped by Islam Makhachev and Charles Oliveira’s rematch for the lightweight title.

I’m your bigger NIGHTMARE. BLF is coming to erase you 🧢🧁 gourmet Chen Chen

— Paulo Costa ( Borrachinha ) (@BorrachinhaMMA) July 24, 2023

Read Also: Jared Cannonier Explains Why He ‘Leans More Towards’ Paulo Costa In Khamzat Chimaev Fight

Please provide transcription credit with a link to this article if you use any of these quotes.

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