Khamzat Chimaev ‘doesn’t f*cking deserve’ title shot after Kamaru Usman win at UFC 294

Sean Strickland is not convinced that his first title contender is worthy of the opportunity.

The UFC middleweight champion asserts that, from a sporting perspective, Khamzat Chimaev should not be next in line for the belt. Strickland believes that Chimaev has not accomplished enough to deserve the chance.

Chimaev defeated former welterweight champion Kamaru Usman by majority decision in the co-main event of Saturday’s UFC 294 in Abu Dhabi. UFC CEO Dana White had promoted the matchup as a title eliminator leading up to the event, a notion that Strickland disagrees with.

“The only thing I appreciate about Chimaev is that he generates interest in fights,” Strickland stated on UFC Fight Pass. “For some reason, people either like him or dislike him. I don’t know. To me, he’s just a paycheck. He creates buzz for fights. People pay to watch, but he hasn’t earned it.

“He hasn’t deserved it, but here we are. Give it to him. He generates a lot of interest in fights. I’ll go fight him for five rounds. But no, he hasn’t earned it. He doesn’t deserve it. Beating a welterweight who has been inactive is not earning it.”

UFC 294 marked Chimaev’s return to middleweight after competing in the welterweight division. It was also Usman’s middleweight debut, which he accepted with less than two weeks’ notice as a replacement for Paulo Costa.

Many believe that Dricus du Plessis is the most deserving of a middleweight title shot. He currently holds an undefeated record in the UFC, is on an eight-fight winning streak, and most recently achieved a TKO victory over former champion Robert Whittaker in July. Strickland won the middleweight title by unanimous decision against Israel Adesanya in a stunning upset at UFC 293 in September. He is currently on a three-fight winning streak.

For more information about the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC 294.

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie


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