Khamzat Chimaev lashes out at Kamaru Usman over “that wasn’t special” comment

UFC 294 in Abu Dhabi was a mayhem of an event, as both its last two fights suffered from pull-outs. But to save the show like the UFC always does, they rescheduled those fights to be even more stacked. In the co-main event, Khamzat Chimaev was supposed to fight Paulo Costa for championship contention but his opponent pulled out at the last minute due to infection.

In place of Costa, the UFC rang former welterweight champion Kamaru Usman to step in on 10 days notice against one of the scariest contenders in UFC and the ‘Nigerian Nightmare’ jumped on the opportunity.

Khamzat Chimaev responds to Kamaru Usman comments

Although their fight took place on short notice, the rivalry between Usman and Chimaev was boiling for a long time and fans were vocal in wanting to see that matchup get scheduled, but it erupted when it actually happened. When the cage door closed and the two combatants went at each other, Chimaev got off to a good start and controlled the supreme wrestler for the majority of round 1. But, as the fight progressed, Usman began to rally and put it on Chimaev, giving him an even battle until the end of the fight. After the bell rang, Usman suffered a razor-thin loss to Chimaev.

Months after his loss, Usman sat down with Chael Sonnen and gave his thoughts on Chimaev. He said, “You build him up in your head, then you get in there and you go ‘that wasn’t special’. There was nothing different that I haven’t seen.” Khamzat, however, did not take long to respond and fired back at his rival.

Kamaru Usman wanted more rounds following defeat to Chimaev

The stock of Kamaru Usman did not decrease but only increased much higher following his performance against one of his toughest challenges. To put it in perspective, Usman managed to move up to the welterweight division and give one of the scariest guys in the entire promotion a run for his money, all on 10 days notice. Fans showered him with praise as the Nigerian great looked visibly heartbroken following his loss.

Usman recently went on record and talked about how the fight against Chimaev would look, had the fight been for more rounds. He spoke with ESPN’s Megan Olivi, “Coming off the couch in 10 days and fighting a young, hungry bull like that who’s big and strong, he had a year and a half to really grow into this weight class, and I didn’t. I think I didn’t trust my shape. I’m a championship fighter, and you can’t start slow like that. I say give me a couple extra rounds, I think the world knows what that result might be.”

Kamaru Usman will go down in history as one of the greatest welterweights of all time and deserves his flowers for all he’s done for the company, although he’s far from done. A potential second bout with Chimaev in future with a full camp will only result in massive speculation.


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