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Kamaru Usman will fight Khamzat Chimaev at UFC 294

Kamaru Usman UFC 294 Khamzat Chimaev

(Photos by Per Haljestam, USA TODAY Sports)

Kamaru Usman UFC 294 Khamzat Chimaev
(Photos by Per Haljestam, USA TODAY Sports)

Kamaru Usman will fight Khamzat Chimaev at UFC 294

UFC 294 has undergone another massive change. Paulo Costa has been pulled from the co-main event against Khamzat Chimaev because of an elbow injury. As a result, former UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman has agreed to fight Chimaev in the UFC 294 co-main event on ten days’ notice, according to UFC CEO Dana White.

It has not been a secret that the UFC 294 co-main event was in serious jeopardy. White had previously announced there was a possibility Costa could be pulled from the card. That has come to fruition. Although, seeing the former welterweight champion move up a weight class to fight a Chimaev was much more of a shock.

UFC 294 has been struck with massive changes. In addition to the co-main event changing, Charles Oliveira was forced to pull out of the main event which led to UFC featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski stepping in to fight Islam Makhachev on short notice.

This bout will be unfamiliar territory for Usman. The former long-reigning champion is fighting in a non-title bout for the first time since 2018. Similarly, this will be his first time in a three-round fight since the same year. Most importantly, it will be his middleweight debut.

As for Chimaev, he will not have the opportunity to fight a ranked middleweight. Instead, he will have the opportunity to fight an all-time great. That may be an even better resume builder.

The stakes in the UFC 294 co-main event will be division-altering. The most important piece to note is that the winner will be in a great position to earn the next UFC middleweight title fight. It is not a guarantee, but their name will be in consideration.

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