Sep 10, 2022; Las Vegas, Nevada, USA; Khamzat Chimaev (red gloves) fights Kevin Holland (blue gloves) during UFC 279 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Chimaev Clinches Victory Over Usman in a Tense Clash, Sets Eyes on Middleweight Title

Despite a Grueling Fight, Chimaev Sets His Sights on the UFC Middleweight Title

In an electrifying majority decision that left fans on the edge of their seats, Khamzat Chimaev narrowly secured victory over Kamaru Usman at UFC 294. The tense bout, which took place Yas Island, saw Chimaev push through to a contentious win, marking a significant moment in his rising career.

Chimaev, known for his aggressive style, encountered a formidable challenge in Usman, who, despite accepting the fight on short notice, showcased his skill and endurance. The initial rounds were a grueling display of athleticism, with Usman demonstrating strategic defense against Chimaev’s powerful strikes. However, Chimaev’s relentless offense, particularly in the ground game, ultimately swayed the judges’ decision in his favor.

The fight card was thrown into chaos when Paulo Costa withdrew, requiring Usman to step in with just 11 days to prepare. Despite these hurdles, the former UFC welterweight champion exhibited sheer determination, almost clinching a win against the odds.

“Usman maybe exposed [Chimaev] a little bit… I say Usman is more than we thought he was. That son of a bitch got the job done. If he had six weeks, he wins that fight,” commented fellow welterweight Matt Brown.

This victory wasn’t a walk in the park for Chimaev. The first round saw him unleashing a flurry of attacks, securing a 10-8 score, but Usman wasn’t fazed. He recalibrated in the subsequent rounds, presenting a counter-approach that nearly tipped the scales, leading to a razor-edge majority decision.

“Usman’s effort elevated him. He wasn’t tired… He could have fought more rounds. It speaks to his professionalism,” Brown added, acknowledging Usman’s commendable performance despite the loss.

The outcome has stirred the pot for what’s next in the UFC middleweight scene. While UFC CEO Dana White hinted at a potential title shot for Chimaev against reigning champion Sean Strickland, there’s speculation about whether the win was convincing enough.

“He doesn’t fucking deserve it… getting a decision with a welterweight off the couch is not fucking earning it,” Strickland retorted, throwing a cloud of doubt over Chimaev’s forthcoming title contention.

Chimaev, undeterred, had a terse response for Strickland:

“You are next, don’t worry. You know how fast I can finish you.”

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