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Home » Kamaru Usman loses to Chimaev on points

Kamaru Usman loses to Chimaev on points

Russian fighter Khamzat Chimaev narrowly defeated Kamaru Usman at UFC 294 on Saturday inside the Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, beating the former welterweight champion on points in the co-main event.

Chimaev was due to face Paulo Costa in Abu Dhabi, but the Brazilian was forced to withdraw on 10 days’ notice due to an elbow injury, leading Usman to step in.

The 29-year-old Russian MMA fighter entered the Etihad Arena with an unbeaten record of 12-0, including 11 finishes, having fought at welterweight and middleweight.  Kamaru Usman, 36, therefore, faced a stern test against Chimaev, but the Nigerian did himself justice in defeat.

Chimaev started fast, as expected, taking down Usman and controlling him for much of the first round. The “Wolf” even closed in on a standing, rear-naked choke – only to be thwarted by a Hail Mary from Usman, who dropped to the mat to slam his opponent and break the hold.

Usman seemed content to recover energy early in the second round, while Chimaev looked to be doing the same. Usman appeared to pull ahead in the round with crisp striking from both stances during that spell. Chimaev could land a takedown late in the frame, but Usman did well to neutralise the 29-year-old until the end of the round.

Read also UFC 294: Kamaru Usman to fight Khamzat Chimaev in Abu Dhabi

In the final round, Usman continued to get the better of Chimaev in the striking exchanges while also denying the Russian multiple takedowns. Usman failed with his takedown attempt before Chimaev grounded the former champion and gained another period of control.

The defeat means ‘The Nigerian Nightmare’ has now lost three straight fights after losing two fights against Leon Edwards, where he lost his welterweight title

Usman, who held the welterweight title from 2018 until 2022, moved up to middleweight for the short-notice clash, which pitted him against one of the most fearsome prospects in MMA.

Although Usman could stand and initiate a frenzied end to the fight, Chimaev had done enough to win 29-27 on two scorecards, while the other read 28-28. As such, Chimaev was declared a majority-decision winner.

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