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Khamzat Chimaev Challenges Kamaru Usman to Middleweight Showdown



In a fiery exchange of words, rising UFC star Khamzat Chimaev has fired back at former welterweight champion Kamaru Usman, throwing down the gauntlet for a highly anticipated matchup. However, there seems to be a major obstacle in their path—the weight class.


Usman spoke about the potential fight in an angry interview at UFC 290, when he expressed his anger with the effort to make the dream matchup a reality.


“You know, at the end of the day, I have been — and still am — the boogeyman of this division,” Usman said. “I asked for the guy. If you want to fight — you want to be a champion — cut the f****** weight and come fight.”


Responding to Usman's frustration over making their fight a reality, Chimaev took to Twitter to issue a counterproposal. He challenged Usman to meet him at middleweight (185lb), instead of the welterweight limit (170lb) where the difficulties in arranging the bout had initially arisen.


"Kamaru Usman, why are you talking about me?" Chimaev questioned. "You said you want to fight [at middleweight]. The weight [is] no problem for you. You are the boogeyman, but I am the wolf. Come up."


While Chimaev's response exhibits his willingness to face Usman, it also highlights their disagreement over the weight class, indicating that they remain far apart from making the fight happen.


Usman has showcased his dominance at 170 pounds as one of the division's most formidable champions, while Chimaev has expressed struggles with cutting down to welterweight and has hinted at a move to middleweight.


Chimaev's last appearance in the Octagon was in September when weight-cutting issues caused a last-minute change in his scheduled bout against Nate Diaz. A bloated Chimaev faced Kevin Holland instead and emerged victorious with a D'arce choke submission in less than three minutes.


Since he arrived in the UFC, Chimaev has garnered widespread acclaim as one of the sport's top prospects, particularly in the welterweight division. However, his most recent attempt to make the welterweight limit was against Gilbert Burns in April 2022. If Chimaev remains reluctant to undergo another grueling weight cut, the prospects of a showdown with Usman might be in jeopardy.


Fans and pundits alike eagerly await a potential clash between these two talented fighters. Whether Chimaev and Usman can find common ground on the weight class or if this exciting matchup remains a tantalizing fantasy, only time will tell.


But one thing is for certain: Chimaev's challenge has reignited the flames of anticipation and added another chapter to the ever-evolving narrative of MMA's most captivating divisions.

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