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MMA Preview: UFC 294 – Kamaru Usman (20-3-0) vs. Khamzat Chimaev (12-0-0)

Originally, Chimaev was supposed to fight Paulo Costa, but the Brazilian pulled out due to an elbow surgery.

Khamzat Chimaev’s UFC 294 odds are -280, suggesting that he’s likely to beat Kamaru Usman on October 21. A couple of reasons for that are that he’s had a full camp and that his opponent is moving up a weight class. However, bigger upsets have happened in the past, so maybe “The Nigerian Nightmare” does stand a chance against “Borz” on Saturday?

Kamaru Usman vs. Khamzat Chimaev Odds
Moneyline Odds
Kamaru Usman -270
Khamzat Chimaev +220
*Odds taken from Sports Odds Direct on Friday, October 20.

When, Where, and How to Watch?
Place: Etihad Arena in Yas Island, United Arab Emirates
Date: Saturday, October 21, 2023
Time: 2:00 p.m. ET
How to Watch: PPV

Kamaru Usman is 36, coming off two straight losses, does this mean he’s washed up? Not really. Those two losses happened to Leon Edwards in UFC Welterweight championship fights. First of all, Edwards is much better than people are giving him credit. Secondly, Usman actually did okay in both of those fights.

In their first duel, he was beating the hell out of Edwards until 0:56 remaining on the clock in the fifth round when the Englishman turned the lights off for him with a devastating head kick.

It was Usman’s first loss in nearly a decade. Their rematch took place last March in Edwards’ home country of England, where the two fought for the full five rounds. Unfortunately for Usman, two of the three judges voted in his opponent’s favor, while the third one scored a draw.

Fast-forward to October 2023, and Usman is moving up from the welterweight division. He’s making his middleweight debut at UFC 294, after agreeing to fight Chimaev on a 10-day notice. Is this a smart move? Probably not. But then again, if there’s someone who can upset the odds, it’s Usman.

Khamzat Chimaev is a huge social media star, especially in Chechnya and the Arab world. “Borz” is born and raised in Chechnya, where he’s got a sort of cult status.

The reason why people from the Middle East love him is that he’s recently become a citizen of the United Arab Emirates, which is the country that will host UFC 294 this coming weekend.

His success on social media has made some people wonder about how good a fighter he actually is. The thing is that the winner of the Usman vs. Chimaev will be given the shot at the title (against Sean Strickland), and many people wonder whether either of these guys deserve it.

Usman has never fought in the UFC Middleweight Division before, while Chimaev’s record isn’t too impressive. Sure, he is 12-0 in his professional career, but he’s only fought four times in the UFC. Further, he’s only fought two ranked fighters so far.

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