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UFC 294 - Khamzat Chimaev vs. Kamaru Usman Preview

UFC 294 is this weekend and have a matchup even wilder than the original.

Originally we were supposed to see Khamzat vs. Paolo Costa, but due to an elbow injury to Costa, we have Khamzat facing off against Former champ Kamaru Usman.

The former champ Kamaru Usman is coming off his first two losses in the UFC, but that hasn’t slowed him down a bit. 7 months after losing a decision to Leon Edwards Usman accepted the call to step in for Paulo Costa to face Khamzat Chimaev at UFC 294 and he is as confident as he’s ever been, can we blame him?

Usman comes into this fight leading the UFC with 97% takedown defense, with Khamzat gaining about 4 takedowns per minute, we know that he’ll be looking to put those stats to the test. Khamzat Chimaev has been unstoppable over the course of his 5 fight career, with an incredible average fight time of only 5 minutes, the Wolf is looking to get his opponent up outta there in a quick and dominant fashion.

After a 3 round war with Gilbert Burns, we’ve seen Khamzat pushed further than we have before, proving that not only can he come in and smash people, but he has the conditioning to win a decision against a top contender in the welterweight division. On Saturday these men will face each other in the Middleweight division, chasing after Stricklands new gold. While this will be Usman's first Middleweight bout, this is familiar waters for Khamzat who fought his 2nd fight at middleweight against Gerald Meerschaert who he knocked out with one punch.

His finishes of multiple contenders inside the first round is proof enough that the Wolf likes to start fast, I don’t know if that will help against Usman though. A man whose last 10 fights have been 5-round fights, the Nigerian Nightmares gastank is unquestioned. This will be one of the biggest tests for Khamzat, who even against burns put pressure on from the sound of the bell. If Usman is able to weather the storm it could be a long night for Khamzat. But don’t get it twisted, Usman is in there with a wolf whose hungry for gold, and has done all things to reach that goal.

Khamzat moved to Abu Dhabi back in September, so to him, he feels like he’s fighting out of his backyard. With his new home base for training set Khamzat is looking to take over the game violently, I think getting past Usman is the final piece. Khamzat having all this time to work after the Gilbert fight leaves some scary uncertainties on Usmans end. Chimaevs hands looked dangerous against Burns and I believe his striking will be even more developed against Kamaru. Kamaru has also taken strides in his striking, after returning to train with former Kickboxer Henri Hooft we have seen an increase in the amount Usman is willing to let them hands fly. All these factors lead us to whats gonna be a wild fight on saturday.

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