UFC: Usman Loses To Chimaev In Middleweight
Khamzat Chimaev returned to the middleweight division with a win as he defeated former welterweight champion Kamaru Usman in the UFC 294 co-main event at Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi on Saturday night.
It is a third straight defeat for Usman who had lost his last two fights to Leon Eswards.
Chimaev emerged winner after the cageside judges scored the fight 29-27, 29-27 and 28-28.
He was initially expected to face Paulo Costa, but the Brazilian was forced to withdraw on 10 days’ notice due to an elbow injury, leading Usman to step in by moving up to middleweight for the short-notice clash.
Chimaev took Usman to the floor and began working to lock up a submission, but the Nigerian showed lots of heart to survive.
In round two, the pace notably slowed down and Chimaev seemed to be gassing after spending more than a year on the sidelines after beating Kevin Holland at UFC 279 in September 2022.
However, Still, he was able to do enough to take the round from Usman.
The third round came alive as Usman started landing punches and Chimaev opted to meet fire with fire in the middle of the Octagon.
Ultimately, he thought better of getting into a war and instead took Usman back to the floor where he dominated for the final seconds of their fight.