Khamzat Chimaev may be next in line for a UFC title shot in the middleweight division. At least, that’s what the UFC promised the winner of the UFC 294 co-feature bout ahead of the main event in Abu Dhabi.
Chimaev was originally scheduled to compete against Paulo Costa at the event, but just 10 days ahead of the event, he learned a replacement opponent would be needed. Enter Kamaru Usman. The former UFC welterweight champion stepped up on short notice looking to rebound from a pair of losses to Leon Edwards, but Chimaev walked away with his hand raised.
Although Chimaev started off very strong with a 10-8 round, many believe Usman won the next two rounds. Considering how the fight played out, and the questions about how Chimaev would have looked if it were a five-round fight, can we confidently say he’s a lock for the next title shot ahead of other contenders?
Dricus Du Plessis has a very strong case for a shot at UFC gold, but if the promotion sticks to its word, he could get passed over for the undefeated Chimaev.
We asked our “Spinning Back Clique” to discuss the middleweight title picture, and where Chimaev fits. Farah Hannoun, Nolan King, and Brian “Goze” Garcia discuss with host “Gorgeous” George Garcia.
You can watch their conversation in the video above, and check out this week’s full episode below on YouTube or in podcast form.
For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC 294.
“Spinning Back Clique” is released each Monday LIVE on MMA Junkie’s YouTube channel at noon ET. You can also find each episode on your favorite podcast platforms – including Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, and more – on Tuesday mornings.