Sep 9, 2023; Sydney, NSW, AUSTRALIA; Sean Strickland speaks at a press conference after defeating Israel Adesanya (not pictured) during UFC 293 at Qudos Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jasmin Frank-USA TODAY Sports

Strickland Challenges Chimaev’s Title Shot After UFC 294

Chimaev's victory over Usman sparks debate over title contention.

Strickland Questions Chimaev’s Title Shot Post UFC 294

In the aftermath of UFC 294 in Abu Dhabi, middleweight champion Sean Strickland voiced strong reservations about Khamzat Chimaev’s title opportunity. Chimaev, having defeated former welterweight champion Kamaru Usman by majority decision on Saturday, is now on the radar for a title shot, a move Strickland finds questionable.

Chimaev’s victory over Usman marked his return to the middleweight division, having previously fought at welterweight. The bout was also notable as Usman’s middleweight debut, taken on short notice after Paulo Costa’s withdrawal. Despite the win, many in the MMA community, including Strickland, feel that Dricus du Plessis, boasting an undefeated UFC record and an impressive eight-fight winning streak, is more deserving of the title shot.

Strickland, speaking on UFC Fight Pass, expressed his candid views:

“The only thing I like about Chimaev is that he sells fights. He’s a paycheck to me. He sells a lot of fights, but he hasn’t earned it. Getting a decision over a welterweight isn’t earning it. While I’ll fight him for five rounds, he doesn’t deserve the title shot.”

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