Video: What are the stakes for Kamaru Usman, Khamzat Chimaev and Paulo Costa after UFC 294 switcheroo?

The UFC 294 main event is not the only big bout that got a major shakeup for Saturday.

Around the same time the event in Abu Dhabi got a new headliner in featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski against lightweight champ Islam Makhachev when Charles Oliveira had to pull out, the co-main event changed, too.

Khamzat Chimaev (12-0 MMA, 6-0 UFC) was supposed to fight Paulo Costa in a likely middleweight title eliminator. But a staph infection put Costa on the bench, and ex-welterweight champ Kamaru Usman (20-3 MMA, 15-2 UFC) stepped up.

There’s plenty at stake for Usman, who lost the welterweight title to Leon Edwards in 2022, then lost to him again in their rematch. A third straight loss in his debut at 185 would be less than ideal. What about Chimaev? Did the fight get harder for him against Usman, or easier? And Costa … what will the UFC do with him, and how far did he set his timeline back by not being able to fight Saturday?

There are all kinds of storylines revolving around the co-feature in Abu Dhabi. We asked this week’s “Spinning Back Clique” panel to chew it up. UFC Hall of Famer and guest panelist Cub Swanson, Brian “Goze” Garcia and Nolan King talked it all through with host “Gorgeous” George Garcia. Check out their conversation in the video above. Then don’t miss this week’s complete episode below.

“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.

Be sure to visit the MMA Junkie Instagram page and YouTube channel to discuss this and more content with fans of mixed martial arts.



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