Khamzat Chimaev maintains unbeaten streak after a fierce battle with former welterweight champion Kamaru Usman at Etihad Arena
At the UFC 294 event held at the Etihad Arena, Abu Dhabi, Khamzat Chimaev emerged victorious against Kamaru Usman. The bout, which took place on Saturday, ended with scores of 29-27 in Chimaev’s favor due to his early dominance, while one judge marked it a 28-28 draw, likely accounting for Usman’s notable effort in the later stages.
The statistics from the match showcased Chimaev’s exceptional grappling skills. Chimaev (13-0 MMA, 7-0 UFC) maintained his undefeated streak, even when faced with a seasoned fighter like Usman (20-4 MMA, 15-3 UFC). Despite Usman stepping up with just 10 days’ notice and transitioning to the middleweight category for the first time in his UFC career, Chimaev’s strategy and agility on the canvas proved unbeatable. The early moments of the bout witnessed “Borz” Chimaev dominating with takedowns and putting Usman’s grappling skills to the test. Round 1 was particularly memorable for Chimaev’s dominance.
However, the tables seemed to turn during the subsequent rounds. Chimaev took a more cautious approach, allowing Usman to unleash a series of powerful strikes. This shift in momentum was especially evident in the final round, where Usman increased the pressure with punching combinations. Yet, Chimaev’s well-timed takedown midway halted Usman’s momentum. The match concluded with both fighters exchanging intense strikes.
Post-match, Kamaru Usman reflected on his performance, expressing some regrets and the potential impact of a more extended preparation period. Speaking on the ESPN+ post-fight show, Usman stated, “Coming off the couch in 10 days and fighting a young, hungry bull like Chimaev was challenging. I need to trust myself more and trust my coaches. Given a couple of extra rounds, I believe the outcome might have been different.”