KHAMZAT CHIMAEV has branded Paulo Costa a 'chicken' and warned Israel Adesanya that he will 'beat his face'.
Chimaev is quickly becoming one of the most exciting UFC prospects following his meteoric rise this year.
The 26-year-old rose to fame this July by twice fighting on Fight Island.
Russian-born-Swede Chimaev won his UFC debut against John Phillips at middleweight and ten days later stopped Rhys McKee at welterweight.
He then maintained his winning momentum with a 17-second knockout of Gerald Meerschaert last month.
Chimaev now faces No3 ranked welterweight Leon Edwards in December, but is already calling out middleweight king Adesanya, 31.
And he was not impressed by Brazilian Costa, 29, who was knocked out in round two against the champion last month.
Chimaev told BT Sport: "I think Paulo Costa was scared in the Israel Adesanya fight.
"I don't know why people are scared to go in the cage.
"In the gym everybody is tough with hard sparring then come to the cage and be a chicken. I don't understand this mentality.
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"Adesanya is good in the stand-up but to be honest, nobody wrestled against him. [Against] Yoel Romero he did only three to four punches of stand-up.
"I can beat this guy. How will he get up from under me if I take him down? I don't think he can, I'm going to beat his face."
UFC president Dana White has been left hailing Chimaev, who reckons he could even fight at light-heavyweight and promises to be champion.
He added: "When I started MMA I always thought I would be a champion in the UFC.
"When a fighter looks at me in the cage I see how much he wants it and how much I want it.
"I am born for fighting. When I watch war films or like vikings or something I think it is how I am in the cage, go to kill somebody and take my gold.
"I even think I can fight at light-heavyweight, anyone has to kill me to win the fight. My future is to smash everybody, soon I'm going to get this belt."