Off the back of his close victory over former undisputed welterweight champion, Kamaru Usman tonight in the co-main event of UFC 294, streaking middleweight contender, Khamzat Chimaev has claimed he suffered a fractured right hand in the opening round of their clash – forcing him to utilize a gameplan majorly free from wrestling in the remaining two frames.
Chimaev, who co-headlined UFC 294 tonight in Abu Dhabi, UAE, turned in his thirteenth straight professional win, landing a close, majority decision (29-27, 29-27, 28-28) victory over the former pound-for-pound number one in the Middle East.
Starting well against the Auchi native and landing a 10-8 round on scorecards, Chechen-born contender, Chimaev took Usman down early in the frame, and took his back, amassing a significant amount of control time, as well as threatening time and time again with numerous choke submissions.
However, losing the second round to Usman, Chimaev appeared to slow down significantly in the second and third frame, capitalizing on a mistake from the former champion in the third and final round, winding up in side control and then half guard en route to his victory.
Khamzat Chimaev reveals hand injury suffered at UFC 294
And likely set for some time on the sidelines, Chimaev confirmed during an interview with ESPN after the bout with Usman, how he believes he fractured his right hand in the opening round of UFC 294, limiting his ability to wrestle.
“Khamzat Chimaev told me he thinks he broke his right hand in the first round, which made it hard to wrestle the final two rounds,” Brett Okamoto posted on his official X account.
Earning his first victory at the middleweight limit since a 2020 win over Gerald Meerschaert, Chimaev, who moves to 13-0 as a professional with his win tonight over Usman, has been lined up to fight for undisputed middleweight gold against recently minted champion, Sean Strickland in his next outing.
Do you agree with Khamzat Chimaev’s judging win over Kamaru Usman at UFC 294?