A screenshot from a video of Charles Oliveira apologizing to fans on X, and a photo of Paulo Costa from his X account Charles Oliveira and Paulo Costa X accounts

One of the biggest UFC events of the year was going to have a main event and a co-main event with prominent, popular Brazilian fighters Charles "Do Bronx" Oliveira and Paulo "The Eraser" Costa. However, both have had to pull out due to injuries.

Oliveira, a former UFC lightweight champion, was going up against the current lightweight champion, Islam Makachev, until he split his eye open during training.

"Round five of sparring last night before he's supposed to jump on a plane today, he splits his eyebrow wide open and had it stitched up last night. Obviously, can't fly out there with that," Dana White said on Tuesday, October 10, during a UFC press conference. White expressed his frustration with fighters never reaching out to the UFC when injured, saying that if he had gotten plastic surgery on his eyebrow provided by the UFC, he would have been able to partake in the event.

Costa, on his end, had to cancel his co-main event matchup after getting an infection in his elbow following surgery three weeks ago, which had already lowered his chances of fighting in Abu Dhabi.

"I got Staphylococcus bacteria inside my elbow and doctors is pulling me out the Fight," Costa said in an X (formerly Twitter) post. In a now-deleted X post, he had also said that he had the Staphylococcus bacteria in his elbow in Brazil eight weeks ago and went to Abu Dhabi five weeks early to heal his wounds and address any further medical complications. Costa's surgery on his elbow was due to Bursitis, which is what ultimately ended up causing an infection in his elbow, leaving him unable to fight.

Oliveira's career

Oliveira won his UFC title in May 2021, defeating one of the most prominent athletes of the division, Michael Chandler, who now sits ranked fifth in the lightweight division.

He would go on to defend his title twice: he first defeated Dustin Poirier, ranked third, and Justin Gaethje, ranked second. In his third defense against Makachev Oliveira, however, he would get submitted shortly into the second round.

This surprised the world, considering Oliveira holds the UFC world record for most career submissions, finishes, and fight night bonuses. Had not been for the injury, Oliveira would have returned to the octagon to try to reclaim his title against Makachev. Oliveira's replacement is Alexander Volkanovski, the current featherweight champion who slimly lost to Makachev in February 2023.

Costas and Chimeav's rivalry

Costa, ranked sixth in the middleweight division, was set to fight his internet and in-person rival Khamzat Chimaev, ranked fourth in welterweight–Chimaev was moving up in weight for the Costa fight.

Costa is popular for trash talking, an episode of which started a feud with his former opponent Chimaev, whom he was set to fight on Oct. 21 until he was deemed unable to fight by UFC medical personnel due to his infection and surgeries.

Kamaru "The Nigerian Nightmare" Usman will replace Costa at the Oct. 21 co-main event.

Other Brazilian fighters in the event

Johnny da Silva Barra de Souza, best known as Johnny Walker, was born in Belford Roxo, State of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and fights out of Dublin, Ireland. Walker is coming off a two-fight win streak and now faces off against Magomed Ankalaev, who is ranked second in the light heavyweight division. This will be a test of his skills as Ankalaev is known as one of the best and holds infamy among the Dagestani UFC fighters. However, "Walker" still did well in recent fights and beat veteran Anthony Smith in his last bout.

The other Brazilian set to fight on Oct. 21 is Bruno Silva, born in Cajazeiras, State of Paraíba, Brazil. Silva, a middleweight with only seven fights in the UFC, is facing off against Shara Magomedov, a highly anticipated Dagestani fighter who is debuting in the UFC with zero losses.

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