Khamzat Chimaev vs. Kamaru Usman at UFC 294 will be title eliminator

In just nine days, the UFC middleweight division is set to determine its next title contender.

According to UFC CEO Dana White, the winner of the UFC 294 co-main event on October 21, featuring Khamzat Chimaev and Kamaru Usman, will earn a shot at the 185-pound championship. Yahoo Sports first reported the news on Wednesday, and White confirmed it in an interview with The Pat McAfee Show on Thursday.

“That is a definite fact,” White said. “Considering the short notice these guys are taking the fight on, the winner will be next in line for the title, unless there are any injuries or other unforeseen circumstances.”

Usman (20-3 MMA, 15-2 UFC) replaced the injured Paulo Costa on Thursday, just 10 days before the scheduled fight against Chimaev (12-0 MMA, 6-0 UFC).

At 36 years old, Usman is moving up to middleweight after consecutive welterweight title fight losses to current champion Leon Edwards. Before those losses, Usman had a dominant reign over the 170-pound division with five successful title defenses. His last fight was at UFC 286 in March.

Chimaev, 29, has been out of action for an even longer period. His most recent win was against Kevin Holland at UFC 279 in September. Chimaev missed weight for that bout, and after discussions between his team and the UFC, he decided to move up to middleweight, where he already has two wins in the UFC.

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

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie


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