Ex-UFC champion Kamaru Usman urged to make middleweight move to secure Khamzat Chimaev fight

Kamaru Usman urged to make middleweight move to land Khamzat Chimaev fight UFC

Former undisputed UFC welterweight champion, Kamaru Usman has been urged to make a move to the promotion’s middleweight division if he is serious about potentially fighting the undefeated, Khamzat Chimaev in his Octagon return, with UFC president, Dana White shutting down the potential of a catchweight contest.

Usman, the current #1 ranked welterweight contender under the banner of the uFC, most recently headlined UFC 286 back in March in London, England – dropping a majority decision loss to Leon Edwards in a championship trilogy rubber match with the Birmingham native.

As for the #3 ranked Chimaev, the AllStars MMA staple has been sidelined since he improved to 12-0 as a professional at UFC 279 back in September of last year with a first round D’Arce choke win over Kevin Holland.

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Slated to make a middleweight division leap amid continued weight cuttting issues in recent Octagon walks, Chimaev has been earmarked to potentially fight one-time middleweight title challenger, Paulo Costa at UFC 294 in October in Abu Dhabi, UAE.

Khamzat Chimaev received a call out from Kamaru Usman earlier this month

Furthermore, the Chechen-born contender has received a notable call-out from the above-mentioned, Usman, however, UFC leader, White insists he would only be interested in booking the bout if they agreed to fight at middleweight.

“What I hate about that fight and [Kamaru Usman] calling him [Khamzat Chimaev] out, Usman is calling him out at a catchweight – I don’t do catchweights, I don’t like catchweights,” Dana White said on The Jim Rome Show. “Catchweights mean nothing. They mean absolutely nothing.” 

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“If [Kamaru Usman] wants to move up 185 [pounds] and fight [Khamzat Chimaev] we could talk about it,” Dana White explained. “But trying to fight him at a catchweight, I’m not interested in.” 

Successfully defending his welterweight title five separate times since assuming the throne back in 2019, Nigerian veteran, Usman had landed two wins over both Colby Covington, and Jorge Masvidal, as well as incoming UFC 288 co-headliner, Gilbert Burns.