UFC 294 went through a ton of changes in the final two weeks leading up to this past Saturday night. The co-main event was originally supposed to be Khamzat Chimaev taking on Paulo Costa. However, after Costa suffered an elbow injury, the fight was called out and the promotion began searching for a replacement opponent.
Welterweight champion Kamaru Usman ended up taking the fight against Chimaev. The winner of the bout was promised a shot at the middleweight championship. While Usman stepping in was massive, he wasn’t the first guy to get the call for the fight on Saturday night.
Top contender Jared Cannonier (17-6) got the call to face off against Chimaev at UFC 294. Cannonier was currently prepping for a middleweight showdown in December against Roman Dolidze. Cannonier was told he’d get a title shot and was willing to jump at the opportunity.
Injury costs Cannonier a chance at a UFC title shot
Cannonier told Submission Radio that he was ready to step in to face Khamzat Chimaev. He went right into preparation and Cannonier revealed that shortly after, he tore his MCL in training. The injury was then confirmed by an MRI and he was officially off the board to face Chimaev at UFC 294.
Unfortunately for Cannonier, the injury is also costing him his fight against Roman Dolidze in December. Cannonier said that the promotion is already aware that he’s off the December card and my assumption is that they’ll begin looking for a new opponent for Dolidze.
At this time, there’s no timetable on when Cannonier will return. He said he’s just focused on his recovery and coming back sometime next year. He’s currently on a two-fight winning streak which includes a win over current UFC champion Sean Strickland. You can see his full interview below.