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

Khamzat Chimaev Confident Ahead of Pivotal Bout Against Kamaru Usman at UFC 294, Dismisses Threat from Middleweight Champion Sean Strickland

Unbeaten Phenom Chimaev Dismisses Strickland, Focuses on Pivotal UFC 294 Showdown with Usman

In the high-stakes world of mixed martial arts, confidence is almost as crucial as skill. Rising UFC star Khamzat Chimaev displayed a surplus of it ahead of his critical matchup against former welterweight king Kamaru Usman at UFC 294. The Chechen-born fighter didn’t mince words when discussing his readiness to dominate the competition, including current middleweight champion Sean Strickland.

The anticipation surrounding the co-headliner of UFC 294 at Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Arena is palpable, with Chimaev (12-0 MMA, 6-0 UFC) facing off against the formidable Usman (20-3 MMA, 15-2 UFC). This encounter is more than just a clash of titans; it’s a pivotal juncture for the fighters’ careers, particularly for Chimaev, who eyes a future shot at the middleweight title.

Chimaev’s confidence is sky-high, especially when it comes to Strickland, whom he’s sparred with in the past.

“I’ve taken him down, I’ve held him down, I’ve choked him, I’ve punched him,”

Chimaev remarked to the media on Wednesday. His assertion is clear: he sees no special threat in Strickland. The respect for Strickland’s fighting spirit is there, but Chimaev believes he operates on a higher level skill-wise.

This contest follows Strickland’s successful strategy against Israel Adesanya at UFC 293, a blueprint Chimaev acknowledges for overcoming “The Stylebender.” Yet, Chimaev doesn’t see Strickland as a threat, stating emphatically that he’s in a

“whole different stratosphere.”

With his eyes set on UFC gold, Chimaev’s path involves going through Usman first, a task he’s more than ready for. The bout against Usman is set to be his toughest test yet. Still, if his confidence and undefeated record are any indicators, Chimaev might just be starting his journey to the top of the UFC middleweight division.

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