Khamzat Chimaev overcomes short-notice hurdle by handing Kamaru Usman third straight defeat at UFC 294

In a surprising twist at UFC 294, Khamzat Chimaev’s original opponent, Paulo Costa, was unable to compete. Dana White, faced with the challenge of finding a replacement for Chimaev, turned to Kamaru Usman.

Usman had lost the Welterweight belt to Leon Edwards. Chimaev last fought at UFC 279 against Kevin Holland. Moreover, the bout had added significance as the winner would be getting a shot at the middleweight title. Sean Strickland is the current middleweight champion.

Chimaev secures victory over Usman despite short notice

As the match commenced, Usman’s best strategy seemed to be remaining upright. Chimaev managed a takedown by the end of the first round, but the bell provided a reprieve for Kamaru Usman. Demonstrating his resilience, Usman impressively rallied in the second round. This short notice didn’t deter a fighter of his caliber.

Both fighters showcased their striking skills in the second and third rounds. While Usman artfully evaded most takedowns, Chimaev proved his dominance. The concluding moments of the fight were intense, with both exchanging powerful blows. Respect was evident between them post-fight.

Kamaru Usman
Image via UFC

The decision to award Chimaev the victory, however, caught Usman off-guard. With this win, Chimaev’s undefeated UFC record extends to 13-0. Still, this fight signified the tough journey ahead for the title. Sean Strickland, the current champion is known for his exceptional cardio and a longer fight would favor Strickland over Chimaev.

Post-fight, commentator Jon Anick observed Chimaev’s somber demeanor, attributed to the world’s current challenges. Chimaev’s message during his interview was non-political but heartfelt, emphasizing the global importance of child welfare. Now, fans eagerly anticipate Chimaev’s potential title shot against Middleweight champion, Sean Strickland.

Kamaru Usman endures third consecutive UFC loss

At UFC 294 in Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Arena, former welterweight champion Kamaru Usman experienced his third consecutive UFC loss, this time to the undefeated Khamzat Chimaev. Chimaev boosted his flawless record to 13-0, emerging victorious over the Nigerian through a majority decision.

The backdrop to this bout was Usman’s faltering career trajectory, marked by two losses to Leon Edwards after five successful welterweight title defenses. Chimaev’s original opponent was to be Paulo Costa, but an elbow injury led to Costa’s withdrawal. Usman took the challenge on a mere 10 days’ notice, even having to put on weight quickly.

Given Chimaev’s triumph over the ex-champion, he’s now in prime position for a title shot. Dana White confirmed this sentiment on The Pat McAfee Show, stating the fighters’ short-notice commitment ensured the winner a future title shot, barring unforeseen circumstances.

The middleweight landscape has undergone recent changes, especially after Israel Adesanya’s surprising defeat to Sean Strickland. Despite Adesanya’s previous dominance, the dynamics have now changed. With this backdrop, Strickland faces a looming challenge in the form of Chimaev.

With three consecutive losses, who do you think is the best possible opponent for Kamaru Usman? Comment below!


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