Following the news that Paulo Costa wasn’t cleared to fight, Chimaev (12-0 MMA, 6-0 UFC) will step in as a replacement for a middleweight bout against Usman (20-3 MMA, 15-2 UFC) in the co-main event of UFC 294 on Saturday at the Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi. The main card will be broadcast on pay-per-view at a special time of 2 p.m. ET, following preliminary fights on ESPN+.
Till, a close friend and training partner of Chimaev’s, believes that the undefeated fighter will dominate the former UFC welterweight champion.
“I have great admiration for Khamzat,” Till told The Schmo. “Usman is a tough opponent, but I truly believe that Khamzat will overpower him. I’m his friend and his biggest fan. I think he will dominate Usman. I have immense respect for Usman – he’s a great fighter, but I can’t help but think that Khamzat will completely outclass him. I apologize for saying that, but that’s how I see it.”
Usman is looking to bounce back after consecutive title losses to Leon Edwards. Chimaev will be returning to the octagon for the first time since his quick submission victory over Kevin Holland in September 2022. The Chimaev vs. Holland fight was a catchweight bout at 180 pounds after Chimaev failed to make weight for his originally scheduled welterweight fight against Nate Diaz at UFC 279.
For more information about the event, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC 294.
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