Former UFC middleweight champion Robert Whittaker feels there will be decisiveness behind the upcoming Kamaru Usman vs. Khamzat Chimaev fight.
Usman and Chimaev, two former welterweight standouts, will fight in a short-notice middleweight bout at UFC 294 this Saturday. Chimaev was supposed to face Paulo Costa before Costa withdrew due to an elbow injury.
While the fight is competitive on its surface, Usman will fill in on just days’ notice to face Chimaev. Unbeaten in his MMA career, Chimaev has proven to be a tough puzzle to solve, especially with little time to prepare.
Whittaker isn’t giving Usman much of a chance to pull off the upset this weekend at UFC 294.
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Robert Whittaker Previews Kamaru Usman vs. Khamzat Chimaev
In a recent episode of the MMArcade podcast, Whittaker gave a blunt assessment of how he sees the UFC 294 co-main event playing out.
“Stylistically, I think this is a hard fight for Usman,” Whittaker said. “If we’re going off the Usman that fought Leon Edwards…he had a hard time trying to get into that shooting range and trying to dirty up the fight, get it close, doggish against the fence…
“Chimaev’s going to utilize those kicks, he’s a big dude, a very tall guy. And he has the wrestling to be able to counter Usman better than Leon does. If anything, we might see a really good showing from Chimaev, all of the pieces are there for Chimaev to staple his name.”
Chimaev is making his second middleweight appearance after a quick knockout of Gerald Meerschaert in Sept. 2020. He has earned recent welterweight wins over Kevin Holland and Gilbert Burns.
Usman is looking to get back on track following back-to-back losses to Leon Edwards. His last victory came in a win over Colby Covington at UFC 268.
Whittaker respects both fighters; but feels Chimaev will cement himself as one of the top title contenders in the division he once reigned.
Read Also: Khamzat Chimaev & Kamaru Usman Exchange Words In Face-To-Face Interview Ahead Of UFC 294
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