Paulo Costa's loss will prove to be Kamaru Usman's gain.
UFC president Dana White recently announced that Costa had to withdraw from his scheduled UFC 294 bout against Khamzat Chimaev due to an elbow surgery performed just weeks prior. Medical professionals deemed him unfit to compete, resulting in his removal from the fight card. Filling Costa's spot is Usman, who, on short notice, accepted the fight against Chimaev. The former UFC welterweight champion is making a significant move up to the 185-pound weight class, stepping into the co-main event at UFC 294 in Abu Dhabi on October 21.
I go resume : I got Staphylococcus bacteria inside my elbow and doctors is pulling me out the Fight— Paulo Costa ( Borrachinha ) (@BorrachinhaMMA) October 11, 2023
In less than 24 hours, UFC 294 has seen changes to both the main and co-main events. A rematch between Islam Makhachev and Alexander Volkanovski is now the main event following Charles Oliveira's removal from the card due to a training injury. Consequently, Chimaev vs. Usman now serves as the co-headliner, with Costa unable to compete.
🚨 Dana White confirms that Khamzat Chimaev will face Kamaru Usman at UFC 294 pic.twitter.com/2XtPb8RE1j— Bloody Elbow (@BloodyElbow) October 11, 2023
Usman's middleweight debut marks a pivotal moment in his career, having established himself as one of the most prominent welterweights in UFC history. He achieved a remarkable 15 consecutive victories in the welterweight division before suffering two back-to-back losses to Leon Edwards. Notably, Usman had previously considered a potential showdown against Chimaev, though the bout was initially envisioned in the welterweight category.
However, Chimaev's decision to compete at 185 pounds brings this matchup to life, offering fans an intriguing showdown on October 14 at UFC 294, which will be held at the Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi, with a special 2 p.m. ET start time for the pay-per-view event.
Updated Fight Card
- Islam Makhachev vs. Alexander Volkanovski
- Kamaru Usman vs. Khamzat Chimaev
- Magomed Ankalaev vs. Johnny Walker
- Said Nurmagomedov vs. Muin Gafurov
- Ikram Aliskerov vs. Warlley Alves
- Tim Elliott vs. Muhammad Mokaev
- Sedriques Dumas vs. Abu Azaitar
- Jinh Yu Frey vs. Victoria Dudakova
- Bruno Silva vs. Sharabutdin Magomedov
- Mohammad Yahya vs. Trevor Peek
- Anshul Jubli vs. Mike Breeden
- Javid Basharat vs. Victor Henry
- Nathaniel Wood vs. Muhammad Naimov