Khamzat Chimaev may have accidentally revealed information about his next opponent, and it's not Kamaru Usman

Khamzat Chimaev‘s next opponent appears to have been accidentally revealed. While Chimaev has long been angling for a catchweight clash against Kamaru Usman, ‘Borz’ now seemingly has a new opponent at middleweight.

Chimaev’s coach Azamat ‘Ozzy’ Dugulubgov, who also coaches Jalin Turner, was at the airport waiting to catch his flight after Turner’s victory over Dan Hooker at UFC 290. When his flight got delayed, ‘Ozzy’ decided to study Chimaev’s next opponent instead of wasting time.

Where he probably went wrong was in posting a story of the same, which was also shared by Khamzat Chimaev. Although Dugulubgov took the precaution of blurring out the fighter on his screen, internet MMA sleuths dug hard to find the perfect matching frame. The blurred-out fighter appears to be perennial middleweight contender Jared Cannonier.

Chimaev had recently mentioned UFC 294 as a likely date for his return while also naming Usman as the only possible opponent. However, Dana White had been thoroughly dismissive of a catchweight clash between the two since the get-go.

Jared Cannonier agreed to fight Khamzat Chimaev under one condition

Coming off a bonus-winning decision victory over Marvin Vettori last month, Jared Cannonier has only lost to the champion Israel Adesanya and former champ Robert Whittaker since 2018. Currently ranked number 3 on the middleweight ladder, ‘The Killa Gorilla’ is plotting a second title run.

Considering this might be his last title run, it is certainly a tough ask of Cannonier to take on the surging Khamzat Chimaev, who is unranked at 185 lbs. While he knows the fight will be a barnburner, Cannonier claimed that he would accept the matchup only if guaranteed a title shot with the win. The 39-year-old said during the UFC Vegas 75 post-fight media scrum last month:

“I’m trying to get to the title. I’m not just fighting to entertain you people. I know you guys want to see it. I know it’ll be a good fight. If that fight gets me the title shot, yes. I just beat number three, I’m not looking back, I’m looking forward. So, if Dana [White] and Hunter [Campbell] say, ‘[Khamzat’s] between you and the champion, that’s something we can talk about”

Catch Cannonier’s comments below:

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