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Dana White announces title implications for Khamzat Chimaev vs. Kamaru Usman at UFC 294


The stakes are high for the UFC 294 main event between Khamzat Chimaev and Kamaru Usman. UFC CEO Dana White confirmed to Kevin Iole of Yahoo Sports that the winner of the fight will get a shot at the middleweight title. “Dana White just told me that the Chimaev-Usman winner will get the next title shot barring injury, etc.”


This means that the current middleweight champion, Sean Strickland, will have to wait for his next challenger, as Dricus Du Plessis, who was expected to be next in line, will be skipped over. It also means that Israel Adesanya, who lost the title to Strickland by split decision, will not get an immediate rematch as he desired.


White also expressed his excitement for the fight between Chimaev and Usman, who are both known for their dominant wrestling skills.


“Who knows how they’ll approach it, but you have to think that with the Costa fight, Khamzat probably had to be thinking about going out and taking him down,” White told Yahoo Sports. “But with Usman and his wrestling, it could actually turn into more of a stand-up war.”


Usman (20-3) is looking to bounce back from two consecutive losses to Leon Edwards, who took his welterweight title by knockout in August of 2022 and then defended it by majority decision in March of this year. Usman also has a win over Strickland at 170lbs.


Chimaev (12-0) is undefeated in his MMA career and has been impressive in his six UFC fights. He last fought in September of 2022, when he submitted Kevin Holland in the first round. Before that, he defeated Gilbert Burns by decision at UFC 273 in a welterweight bout. Chimaev has also won two fights at middleweight, knocking out Gerald Meerschaert and submitting John Phillips. If he beats Usman, he will get a chance to fight for the middleweight title.


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