Khamzat Chimaev Confident Ahead of Clash with Usman: “I’m the New Version”
In the high-stakes world of mixed martial arts, confidence is key, and Khamzat Chimaev is not short on it. With an undefeated streak backing him, Chimaev is set to welcome former welterweight champion Kamaru Usman to the middleweight division in a much-anticipated co-headliner at UFC 294 in Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Arena.
The bout, rescheduled due to Paulo Costa’s withdrawal because of a staph infection, is stirring the MMA community, given both fighters’ impressive wrestling skills and striking power. However, Chimaev sees this fight as more than just a clash of similar styles.
“Usman is a fighter like me, but he’s the old version, I’m new, different. Like iPhones come out, he’s iPhone 5. I’m like Pro. It’s different,”
Chimaev quipped during the UFC 294 media day. His analogy drew attention, underscoring his belief in his advanced skill set compared to Usman’s.
Usman, taking this fight on less than two weeks’ preparation, aims to shatter Chimaev’s unbeaten record. Despite the formidable challenge, Chimaev suggests that Usman’s motivation is more financial than competitive.
“The guy comes just to make money,” Chimaev stated, indicating that fighting him has become a high-reward opportunity for his opponents.
As the event approaches, the stakes are high, and the MMA world is watching with bated breath. While Kamaru Usman has a history of overcoming obstacles and proving doubters wrong, Chimaev’s confidence and track record pose a significant threat. This bout has all the ingredients to be an instant classic, potentially reshaping the landscape of the UFC’s middleweight division.