Paulo Costa Out; Kamaru Usman Steps In To Face Khamzat Chimaev at UFC 294

kamaru usman

In a major shakeup to the UFC 294 lineup, Paulo Costa has been forced to withdraw from his co-main event bout against Khamzat Chimaev due to not being medically cleared with a staph infection. As a result, the co-main event between Paulo Costa and Khamzat Chimaev is now off. The UFC was then able to find a replacement and it is the former UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman who is moving up in weight on just 11 days’ notice to take on surging middleweight prospect Khamzat Chimaev in the co-main event.

This is a seismic shift for the upcoming pay-per-view, with Usman moving up to middleweight following back-to-back welterweight title fight losses to current champion Leon Edwards. Prior to the consecutive losses, Usman reigned longly over the 170-pound division and racked up five title defenses. He has not competed since UFC 286 in March. Chimaev, on the other hand, has not fought for even longer. His most recent win was vs. Kevin Holland at UFC 279 in September 2022. Chimaev missed weight before the bout. After some discussion between his team and the UFC brass, Chimaev ultimately elected to move up to middleweight, where he already has two wins in the UFC.

This now makes two brand new headlining fights for UFC 294 with the main event being a rematch between Islam Makhachev and Alexander Volkanovski after Charles Oliveira had to withdraw due to a gruesome cut above his eye and now the co-main event being a middleweight matchup between the former welterweight champion Kamaru Usman and the former No. 4 ranked welterweight contender Khamzat Chimaev. This fight card is absolutely stacked, check out the entire fight card for UFC 294 on October 21st live in Abu Dhabi below.

  • Islam Makhachev vs. Alexander Volkanovski – for lightweight title
  • Kamaru Usman vs. Khamzat Chimaev
  • Magomed Ankalaev vs. Johnny Walker
  • Ikram Aliskerov vs. Warlley Alves
  • Muin Gafurov vs. Said Nurmagomedov
  • Tim Elliott vs. Muhammad Mokaev
  • Trevor Peek vs. Mohammad Yahya
  • Javid Basharat vs. Victor Henry
  • Abu Azaitar vs. Sedriques Dumas
  • Mike Breeden vs. Anshul Jubli
  • Muhammad Naimov vs. Nathaniel Wood
  • Viktoriia Dudakova vs. Jinh Yu Frey
  • Shara Magomedov vs. Bruno Silva
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