Sean Strickland claims Kamaru Usman only took Khamzat Chimaev fight at UFC 294 “for a paycheck”

By Cole Shelton - October 20, 2023

Sean Strickland doesn’t think Kamaru Usman vs. Khamzat Chimaev will be all that competitive at UFC 294.

Sean Strickland and Kamaru Usman

Chimaev was supposed to fight Paulo Costa on the card, but an infection to the Brazilian’s elbow forced him to be pulled from the scrap. On 11 days’ notice, Kamaru Usman stepped up to face Khamzat Chimaev at UFC 294 in a highly-anticipated matchup. The stakes also got higher as UFC CEO Dana White announced the winner would get the next middleweight title shot.

Given that the winner will be getting the next title shot, middleweight champion Sean Strickland will be paying close attention to Khamzat Chimaev vs. Kamaru Usman at UFC 294. However, Strickland expects Chimaev to run through Usman as he thinks the former welterweight champ only took this fight for a payday.

“So, here’s the thing, Usman’s not on a camp, Usman hasn’t been bulking up to middleweight, Usman took this fight for a paycheck. They said, ‘Hey Usman, here’s probably a couple million, you want to take this fight? We’ll give it to you. Usman said I can’t say no, I’m going to do it. It’s a win-win for Usman,” Strickland said on his podcast with Chris Curtis. “So, I think it doesn’t really count because you have Chimaev who has been training his ass off, who has been bulking up for middleweight and then you have Usman who’s been like, I’m going to take this to get a paycheck. To me, this is kind of a bullshit fight, they kind of needed to fill a seat and I got Chimaev.”

Although Sean Strickland doesn’t think the UFC 294 fight will be all that competitive, the middleweight champ thinks if the fight was at welterweight and on a full camp, he would pick Kamaru Usman to beat Khamzat Chimaev.

Kamaru Usman is currently a +270 underdog to beat Khamzat Chimaev at UFC 294.


Kamaru Usman Khamzat Chimaev Sean Strickland UFC