UFC 294: Khamzat Chimaev Will Face Kamaru Usman After Paulo Costa Pulls Out

November 15, 2023
8 months

In today’s MMA news, Dana White has confirmed that Kamaru Usman will face Khamzat Chimaev on October 21st, 2023, at UFC 294.

According to reports, Paulo Costa was initially set to compete against Khamzat Chimaev. However, Costa was ruled out of the bout after not being medically well enough to compete as a result of an Staphylococcus infection. Instead, Chimaev will take on Usman who has decided to take the challenge with less than two weeks to go. 

Costa Speaks Out

“This message goes to my fans. Unfortunately, I am hospitalised and had to do a second surgery yesterday. According to doctors, a third surgery will be necessary on Friday. So, I will not be medically cleared to fight on October 21st. The Abu Dhabi card still amazing I’m not happy but that’s it. I will be back before end 2023,” Costa said
Despite this being the case, it appears that Costa was doing everything in his power to make the fight happen. So much so that his trainer, Tamara Alves, admitted that the fighter was still trying to make his way on the card. The following comments confirmed as much.
“He’s trying to fight in any way. That’s what he wants. Right now, he needs to recover and make sure the infection will not come back,” Alves said
But given that this is unlikely to happen, the attention has turned towards Usman. The former is not in the best form of late, having lost his last two fights against Leon Edwards as he lost his welterweight title.
The first bout ended in a stoppage, while the rematch saw him lose a majority decision. That had ended Usman’s record of winning 19 fights in a row after he had defended his belts five times. But this time around he steps up to middleweight for the challenge. 
In contrast, Chimaev has not had a fight since he overcame Kevin Holland in a first-round submission. That was prior to beating Gilbert Burns at UFC 273. Chimaev remains undefeated in the UFC, with a 6-0 record as another win could set him up for a title shot. 

White On The New Card

“Now you’ve been waiting for the co-main event. Costa’s hurt…we got it done. The No. 4 welterweight in the world, Khamzat Chimaev, is moving up to middleweight and he will face the No. 1 welterweight in the world: Kamaru Usman. No. 1 vs No. 4 at middleweight, Usman vs Chimaev. I will see you in Abu Dhabi,” White

Ultimately, the card has been changed to give Usman a shot. But whether he can stop his recent losing streak is anyone’s guess. Time will tell.

Full Card

Islam Makhachev vs. Alexander Volkanovski

Kamaru Usman vs. Khamzat Chimaev

Magomed Ankalaev vs. Johnny Walker

Said Nurmagomedov vs. Muin Gafurov

Ikram Aliskerov vs. Warlley Alves

Tim Elliott vs. Muhammad Mokaev

Sedriques Dumas vs. Abu Azaitar

Jinh Yu Frey vs. Victoria Dudakova

Bruno Silva vs. Sharabutdin Magomedov

Mohammad Yahya vs. Trevor Peek

Anshul Jubli vs. Mike Breeden

Javid Basharat vs. Victor Henry

Nathaniel Wood vs. Muhammad Naimov

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