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MADNESS! Kamaru Usman in for Paulo Costa, faces Khamzat Chimaev in middleweight debut at UFC 294

UFC 294 has been dealt with quite the last-minute turn of events.

It was revealed late last night (Tues., Sept. 10, 2023) that there was a change in the pay-per-view (PPV) main event between the Lightweight champion, Islam Makhachev, and former champion, Charles Oliveira. Featherweight roost-ruler, Alexander Volkanovski, will now fill in for Oliveira, who suffered a bad cut above his eye, forcing him to withdraw.

The co-main event has also suffered a change as Middleweight contender, Paulo Costa, has been dealing with an elbow injury that has forced him from his match up with Khamzat Chimaev. Former UFC Welterweight champion, Kamaru Usman, will now take on Chimaev in what will be his Middleweight debut, per UFC CEO, Dana White.

The bout will determine the next title challenger for Middleweight titleholder, Sean Strickland.

“What’s up, everybody,” White said in an X video. “You know what we’ve been dealing with this week. We just got the big fight done yesterday; a highly-anticipated rematch in Abu Dhabi. The main event, Makhachev vs. Volkanovski. Now you’ve been waiting for the co-main event. Costa’s hurt, all the rumors that are flying around, we got it done.

“So, the No. 4-ranked Welterweight in the world, Khamzat Chimaev, is moving up to Middleweight and he will face the No. 1 Welterweight in the world, Kamaru Usman. So, No. 1 vs. No. 4 at Middleweight, Usman vs. Chimaev. I will see you in Abu Dhabi.”

Usman last fought in a losing effort against Leon Edwards at UFC 286 in March 2023. “The Nigerian Nightmare” fell short in the pair’s trilogy bout via a majority decision after he was knocked out in round five of their Aug. 2022 rematch (watch highlights). Chimaev, on the other hand, hasn’t fought since he quickly submitted Kevin Holland via first round d’arce choke at UFC 279 in Sept. 2022 (watch highlights).

Careful what you wish for?

Checkout UFC 294’s full line up below:

  • 155 lbs. (C)Islam Makhachev vs. Alexander Volkanovski
  • 185 lbs.: Khamzat Chimaev vs. Kamaru Usman
  • 205 lbs.: Magomed Ankalaev vs. Johnny Walker
  • 185 lbs.: Ikram Aliskerov vs. Warlley Alves
  • 135 lbs.: Said Nurmagomedov vs. Muin Gafurov
  • 155 lbs.: Tim Elliott vs. Muhammad Mokaev
  • 155 lbs.: Mohammad Yahya vs. Trevor Peek
  • 135 lbs.: Javid Basharat vs. Victor Henry
  • 185 lbs.: Abu Azaitar vs. Sedriques Dumas
  • 155 lbs.: Mike Breeden vs. Anshul Jubli
  • 145 lbs.: Nathaniel Wood vs. Muhammad Naimov
  • 115 lbs.: Victoria Dudakova vs. Jinh Yu Frey
  • 185 lbs.: Sharabutdin Magomedov vs. Bruno Silva


Who wins?!

This poll is closed

  • 57%
    Khamzat Chimaev
    (630 votes)
  • 42%
    Kamaru Usman
    (464 votes)
1094 votes total Vote Now

LIVE! Watch UFC 298 PPV On ESPN+ Here!

WORLD FEATHERWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP! Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) returns to Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif., on Sat., Feb. 17, 2024, for the first time in more than two years with its latest pay-per-view (PPV) show. In the ESPN+-streamed PPV main event, reigning Featherweight roost-ruler, Alexander Volkanovski, will defend his 145-pound strap against undefeated surging Spanish contender, Ilia Topuria. In addition, former Middleweight kingpin, Robert Whittaker, will finally square off with mercurial mauler, Paulo Costa, in UFC 298’s co-feature. UFC 298 will also feature the returns of Ian Garry, Geoff Neal, Henry Cejudo, Merab Dvalishvili and so much more!

Don’t miss a single second of EPIC face-punching action!

Remember that will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 294 fight card right here, starting with the early ESPN+ “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. ET, before the pay-per-view (PPV) main card start time at 10 p.m. ET (also on ESPN+).

To check out the latest and greatest UFC 294: “Makhachev vs. Volkanovski 2” news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archive right here.

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