Yesterday, we learned that there was a new main event for UFC 294 in less than two weeks. Dana White announced that Charles Oliveira was out and featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski was moving up to get his rematch against lightweight champion Islam Makhachev.
Last night, White also revealed that Paulo Costa (14-2) was potentially pulling out of the co-main event against Khamzat Chimaev (12-0). Costa had suffered an elbow injury that required surgery and was trying to battle through it. However, today we got confirmation that Costa was out of the fight.
Now, the co-main event needed a revision and let me tell you, they ended up upgrading the co-main event. Dana White announced this afternoon that former UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman (20-3) was moving up to middleweight to face the undefeated Chimaev.
As mentioned, this is even a bigger fight than the one that was originally planned. We haven’t seen Usman since March when he lost a close decision to Leon Edwards in their trilogy fight at UFC 286. Since then, the former champion has been in a state of limbo awaiting his next fight.
Now, he’s moving up to 185 to take on the dangerous Chimaev. Crazy to think, but if Usman wins, he might just leapfrog the contenders at 185 to get a shot at Sean Strickland. There had been talks about Chimaev getting a title shot with a win, but if Usman wins, there’s a very real possibility that he’s in the discussion.
Chimaev – Usman was a facinating matchup that people wanted to see at welterweight. However, with Usman losing his title and Chimaev moving up, we thought we’d never see it. Now, we get to see it in less than two weeks as the co-main for UFC 294.