Khamzat Chimaev shows maturity, refuses to predict outcome of Kamaru Usman fight citing learnings from difficult outing at UFC 273

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Khamzat Chimaev (left) vs. Kamaru Usman (right) [Image Courtesy: @KChimaev via X/Twitter and @USMAN84kg via X/Twitter]

Khamzat Chimaev is scheduled to take part in the most high-profile fight of his career this Saturday. In the co-main event of UFC 294, 'Borz' will face former UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman. The bout is not one that the unbeaten Chechen originally prepared for, as he was initially set to fight Paulo Costa.

Unfortunately, the Brazilian bruiser withdrew from the bout due to post-surgery complications on his left elbow. He was replaced by Usman, and now the two men will square off in a middleweight title eliminator. Ahead of the bout, the pair took part in an interview with Chael Sonnen on ESPN MMA.

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While Khamzat Chimaev is often confident about his ability to defeat any opponent who stands in front of him, he exhibited a different attitude and refused to give an official prediction for his bout with Usman when asked. He said:

"Never gonna give you, can't give a prediction before the fight. Everybody say gonna do that, gonna this, that. In the cage everything is going different way now, so that's why never can give, like for the Gilbert Burns, like learn lot of things. You was thinking 'one punch, gonna go down' in my head, so you know, the game play against you."

Not only did Khamzat Chimaev reference his close fight with Gilbert Burns, but he seems to have alluded to the recent string of upsets taking place inside the octagon when he stated that everything in the cage has recently gone in a different direction.


When Khamzat Chimaev almost retired from MMA

There was a time when Khamzat Chimaev was fighting more frequently than anyone on the UFC roster. Towards the end of 2020, he was scheduled to face future UFC welterweight champion Leon Edwards in a litmus test that would have determined whether he was ready for top-level competition.

Unfortunately, Chimaev's momentum was derailed by a positive COVID-19 test. He became severely ill, and the complications he suffered consisted of him vomiting blood in the toilet, causing him to announce his retirement. However, Chimaev was later persuaded to resume fighting and is now set for UFC 294.

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Edited by Jigyanshushri Mahanta
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