Yesterday, we got some major breaking news regarding the UFC 294 co-main event. Dana White announced that Paulo Costa (14-2) suffered an injury and was out of the co-main event against the undefeated Khamzat Chimaev (12-0). While it’s a shame that fight fell through, the one the promotion booked is even better on paper in my opinion.
White announced that former welterweight champion Kamaru Usman (20-3) was moving up to 185 and taking on Khamzat Chimaev in the co-main event. In a span of two days, the UFC 294 main and co-main event saw one fighter pull out just to be replaced with arguably a bigger name creating a bigger fight.
Today on the Pat McAfee show, White broke more news regarding the new co-main event. Rumors had been swirling that the winner would get a shot at the middleweight title. Turns out, that’s exactly the case. Dana White said that barring injury, the winner of Khamzat Chimaev – Kamaru Usman would be getting the next shot at newly crowned middleweight champion Sean Strickland.
With this announcement, there’s a lot of fallout in the middleweight division. Dricus Du Plessis was the clear number one contender after knocking out Robert Whittaker over the summer. He was the UFC’s first choice to fight Israel Adesanya last month for the title, but when he couldn’t due to lingering injuries, Sean Strickland stepped up and shocked the world.
Most thought DDP would get the next shot at the title, but that’s clearly not the case. With this announcement, it’s also a confirmation that Israel Adesanya will not get an immediate rematch against Sean Strickland. So, what should the UFC do with those guys?
Well, it’s honesty simple. There’s a ton of bad blood there and I think the promotion should have them fight for the right to fight for the middleweight title. DDP really gets the short-end of the stick here, but it happens. He might now be forced to get wins over Whittaker and Adesanya before getting his shot at the middleweight title.