Kamaru Usman speaks out on Khamzat Chimaev fight: “Everyone feels invincible until someone pokes that balloon”
Kamaru Usman is fired up ahead of his short-notice UFC 294 fight against Khamzat Chimaev.
Chimaev was expecting to share the Octagon with Paulo Costa on October 21 in Abu Dhabi. Costa’s elbow surgery flushed those plans down the toilet. The good news for fight fans is that a more than worthy adversary has stepped up in former UFC welterweight champion Usman.
UFC CEO Dana White told Yahoo! Sports that the winner of Usman vs. Chimaev will receive a shot at the UFC Middleweight Championship.
Kamaru Usman Talks Khamzat Chimaev Showdown At UFC 294
Kamaru Usman recently spoke to TMZ Sports and admitted that he thinks Khamzat Chimaev is a talented athlete. With that said, “The Nigerian Nightmare” believes in his own abilities.
“He’s very skilled. He’s strong, he’s big. He’s fast, he can wrestle, he can grapple, he can strike. He has everything,” Kamaru said, “But so do I.”
Usman then responded to the notion that Chimaev is unbeatable.
“At the end of the day, we’re all human beings,” Usman said. “Everyone feels invincible until someone pokes that balloon.”
Usman has a chance to win UFC gold in a second weight class if he gets past Chimaev to secure a 185-pound title opportunity, but he isn’t interested in looking beyond UFC 294.
“I mean, it’s a no-brainer,” Kamaru said. “I’ve got a mountain in front of me that I have to scale. We’ll get through that first and then we’ll worry about what’s next.”
The middleweight title picture has suddenly become a bit more open now that Israel Adesanya is on hiatus. Regardless of who wins the Usman vs Chimaev bout, UFC middleweight champion Sean Strickland figures to be in for a tough challenge. Usman and Strickland actually shared the Octagon back in 2017. Usman won that fight via unanimous decision.