Khamzat Chimaev is picking a fight with anyone and everyone.
UFC 294 will mark the promotion’s return to Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates on Oct. 21, 2023, and suddenly the card has fallen into disarray. Since the event’s announcement this past March 2023, top Welterweight contender, Chimaev, has been a name expected to compete.
Chimaev, 29, last fought at UFC 279 in Sept. 2022, dominating and submitting Kevin Holland via a first-round d’arce choke (watch highlights). However, “Borz” badly missed weight ahead of what was originally a match up against Nate Diaz, leading to his career trajectory getting thrown off. UFC President, Dana White, and Chimaev’s team have consistently said the undefeated 12-0 superstar will move up to Middleweight. With a fight yet to materialize, Chimaev has now made a call to rebook a fight that never happened.
“@Leon_edwardsmma if you are a man let’s fight in Abu Dhabi,” Chimaev tweeted.
The current UFC Welterweight champion, Leon Edwards, and Chimaev were scheduled to fight on three separate occasions throughout late 2020 and early 2021. Unfortunately for both, battles with COVID-19 canceled the pairing each time. Now, Edwards is expected to next defend his title against Colby Covington at a date to be determined.
Meanwhile, Chimaev has been going back-and-forth with ranked Middleweight contender, Paulo Costa. The Brazilian knockout artist is lined up to fight a former Chimaev opponent, Ikram Aliskerov, at UFC 291 on July 29, 2023, in Salt Lake City, Ut., but the bout has fallen into question.
As for other problems UFC 294 is facing, UFC Lightweight kingpin, Islam Makhachev, is now uncertain of who he’ll defend his title against as hoped. Like Chimaev, Makhachev also wants a piece of the Welterweight titlist, Edwards.