A former champion Kamaru Usman will take on the undefeated Khamzat Chimaev at the co-main event of the upcoming UFC 294. While Usman is currently on a two-fight skid, ‘Borz’ has ragdolled most of his recent opponents.
More often than not, the Chechen-born UAE national employs a wrestling-heavy approach from the get-go to hunt for an early finish.
Although such a game plan has proved fruitful for him in the past, Usman believes ‘Borz’ will have a rude awakening once he employs similar tactics at Abu Dhabi.
During an interview with Daniel Cormier, ‘The Nigerian Nightmare’ answered whether he is ready to counter Chimaev’s wrestling-heavy approach, saying:
“I think so, I think he has to try [to impose his wrestling on me early on]. You don’t know unless you know. You know ignorance is bliss. You might think it’s going to work on everyone until you get in there and try, [then] it’s like aah, it’s not working, maybe I need to pivot. So we’ll see. I’m prepared for it all.”
Kamaru Usman is one of the greatest welterweights in UFC history. He holds a record of 20-3, and during his tenure as the 170 lbs champion, he defended the title on five occasions.
‘The Nigerian Nightmare’ holds wins against numerous who’s who of the sport, including former welterweight kingpin Tyron Woodley, former BMF title holder Jorge Masvidal, and former interim welterweight champion Colby Covington.
Catch Kamaru Usman’s comments below (10:22):
Kamaru Usman vs. Khamzat Chimaev: MMA pros pick
With the highly anticipated middleweight showdown between Kamaru Usman and Khamzat Chimaev mere hours away, let’s take a look at how MMA pros see the fight unfolding.
A recent segment of James Lynch’s popular MMA Pros Pick features various top-tier fighters weighing in on the highly anticipated clash.
Former UFC women’s featherweight champion Cris Cyborg picked ‘Borz.’ She opined that Usman will have a tough time handling Chimaev on short notice.
No. 10 ranked featherweight contender Bryce Mitchell leaned towards Chimaev. ‘Thug Nasty’ predicted that the contest would be grappling heavy.
UFC bantamweight Chris Gutierrez picked ‘The Nigerian Nightmare.’ He said:
“I like Usman… It would be good to see [Chimaev] him be tested against someone like Kamaru, who’s been used to these championships fights.”
According to the UFC’s official website, Khamzat Chimaev is a -360 favorite for the match-up with Usman as a +285 underdog.
Catch the full episode MMA Pros Pick episode below: