It’s been a busy few hours at the UFC HQ in Las Vegas.
Speaking to the media in Las Vegas last night, UFC CEO Dana White confirmed that the scheduled UFC 294 headliner between Islam Makhachev and Charles Oliveira was off, with featherweight champ Alexander Volkanovski stepping in to fill the void on short notice.
But the UFC’s matchmaking problems run deeper than just that, after White confirmed that the UFC 294 co-main event between Khamzat Chimaev and Paulo Costa is also in doubt due to an elbow injury being dealt with by Costa.
“Yeah, it’s possible,” White told the media in Las Vegas last on Tuesday, including The Mac Life, when asked if the Chimaev vs. Costa bout might be canned. “Hopefully within a couple of hours, I’ll have an answer for you.”
The UFC boss added that the organisation is currently in discussions with “a couple” of fighters who might be able to step in on short notice to fight Chimaev. Their identities remain a mystery, but as White notes an update on the situation can likely be expected later on Wednesday.
Costa said earlier this week that he underwent elbow surgery a few weeks ago in Brazil before travelling to Abu Dhabi, but required more treatment upon his arrival. It appears, at least on the surface, that the UFC may have been in the dark about the extent of Costa’s health.
Should a late change occur, it will be Chimaev’s second fight in succession where he takes on a late notice opponent after Kevin Holland stepped in to face the undefeated fighter after Chimaev spectacularly missed weight for a scheduled bout against Nate Diaz 13 months ago.