Having dominated opponents throughout his career, Khamzat Chimaev unveils his ultimate goal against Kamaru Usman at UFC 294.



Having dominated opponents throughout his career, Khamzat Chimaev unveils his ultimate goal against Kamaru Usman at UFC 294.

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UFC 294 marks Khamzat Chimaev’s return to the cage following a substantial break. The undefeated ‘Borz’ is slated to square off against Kamaru Usman in a bout with significant championship implications. Originally scheduled to face Paulo Costa, Chimaev’s chance to step into the Octagon was nearly derailed as Costa had to withdraw due to surgery, confirmed by UFC CEO Dana White, just weeks before the fight.

Fans were disheartened by the news, as the Chimaev vs. Costa showdown was eagerly anticipated. However, former UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman heroically stepped in on short notice to salvage the event. While many fighters might have been wary of such an abrupt replacement, Chimaev remains undaunted, expressing his specific fight night goals.

UFC 294 will be remembered not only for this unexpected shift but also for a second last-minute replacement. The main event altered course when Charles Oliveira was injured during his training camp, necessitating a replacement. Alexander Volkanovski, the UFC featherweight champion, stepped in to take his place against Islam Makhachev.

Chimaev’s original opponent, Paulo Costa, was removed from the card due to a severe infection, bringing an end to their social media sparring. Nonetheless, Chimaev remains focused on his new opponent, Kamaru Usman, refusing to let distractions deter him.

In an interview with Chael Sonnen for ESPN MMA, Chimaev was asked whether he believes he holds an advantage in this fight, given his conditioning and pace, which have overwhelmed opponents in the past. In his characteristic style, ‘Borz’ responded, “It’s like, I don’t know what to say, just come here to smash the guy man, so respect for the guy, takes the fight short notice, and they already have excuses, not Usman, a lot of people say but Usman takes the fight like a warrior, man. People say he doesn’t have a full camp, but for me it doesn’t matter, I come to finish everyone.”

Kamaru Usman, coming off two losses to current welterweight champion Leon Edwards, seeks to regain his form. He has switched his focus to another weight class and has a prior history with the current middleweight champion, Sean Strickland. In a surprising turn of events, Usman will step into a middleweight contest against Chimaev at UFC 294 in Abu Dhabi. Chimaev, undefeated in his MMA career, will provide a formidable challenge to the former welterweight champion.

Usman has previously defeated the current UFC middleweight champion, Sean Strickland, back in 2017. UFC CEO Dana White has declared that the victor of the Usman vs. Chimaev bout will secure a title shot, a decision wholeheartedly supported by Usman. He conveyed his intentions, saying, “Sean Strickland’s the champion. I’ve already taken care of him. Not to say he’s not better – he is. But I’ve got a mountain in front of me that I need to scale and climb, so we’ll get through that first….”



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