Dana White reveals the winner of Khamzat Chimaev vs. Kamaru Usman at UFC 294 will get the next middleweight title shot
UFC CEO Dana White has upped the stakes for the UFC 294 fight between Khamzat Chimaev and Kamaru Usman.
On Wednesday, it was revealed that Paulo Costa would not be medically cleared to face Chimaev next weekend at UFC 294 in Abu Dhabi after having surgery. However, White and the UFC quickly found a replacement as former welterweight champion Kamaru Usman has agreed to step up on short notice to face Chimaev at middleweight.
On paper, it’s already a highly-anticipated matchup and now Dana White told Kevin Iole of Yahoo Sports that the winner of Khamzat Chimaev vs. Kamaru Usman will get the next middleweight title shot.
Dana White just told me that the Chimaev-Usman winner will get the next title shot barring injury, etc
— Kevin Iole (@KevinI) October 11, 2023
“Dana White just told me that the Chimaev-Usman winner will get the next title shot barring injury, etc.”
It is interesting that White says the winner of Khamzat Chimaev vs. Kamaru Usman will get the next middleweight title shot. Currently, Sean Strickland is without an opponent, but Dricus Du Plessis appeared to be next in line, however, the South African will now be passed over. It also means the UFC won’t be giving Israel Adesanya an immediate rematch which he has wanted.
Along with the fight now being a title eliminator, Dana White is excited to see how Kamaru Usman and Khamzat Chimaev fight each other.
“Who knows how they’ll approach it, but you have to think that with the Costa fight, Khamzat probably had to be thinking about going out and taking him down,” White told Yahoo Sports. “But with Usman and his wrestling, it could actually turn into more of a stand-up war.”
Kamaru Usman (20-3) is coming off back-to-back losses to Leon Edwards to lose his welterweight title. He last fought back in March of this year when he lost a majority decision to Edwards, after getting knocked out in August of 2022 to Edwards to lose his title. He also has a win over Strickland while he was competing at 170lbs.
Khamzat Chimaev (12-0) hasn’t fought since September of 2022 when he submitted Kevin Holland in the first round. Prior to that, he picked up the biggest win of his career as he scored a decision victory over Gilbert Burns at UFC 273. Chimaev is 6-0 in the UFC including having two wins at middleweight, as he KO’d Gerald Meerschaert and submitted John Phillips. If he beats Kamaru Usman, a title shot could be next.