Dana White announces Kamaru Usman will replace Paulo Costa and face Khamzat Chimaev at UFC 294

By Cole Shelton - October 11, 2023

UFC CEO Dana White has announced that Kamaru Usman will fight Khamzat Chimaev at UFC 294.

Kamaru Usman and, Khamzat Chimaev

On Tuesday after the Contender Series, White said it was a possibility the fight was off. Now, after Costa confirmed on social media he was out of the fight, the UFC CEO took to Instagram to announce that Usman will be the replacement opponent for the Brazilian and face Khamzat Chimaev at UFC 294 next Saturday.


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White announced that Kamaru Usman has agreed to take the fight on 10 days’ notice to face Chimaev at middleweight in Abu Dhabi in what will be a highly-anticipated matchup.

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.

Prior to the setbacks, Kamaru Usman was on a 19-fight win streak including being 15-0 in the UFC and having defended his welterweight title five times. He holds notable wins over Colby Covington, twice, Jorge Masvidal, twice, Sean Strickland, Tyron Woodley, and Gilbert Burns among others.

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.

With Kamaru Usman set to fight Khamzat Chimaev, UFC 294 is as follows:

  • 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


Kamaru Usman Khamzat Chimaev UFC