Already one of the greatest fighters in UFC history, Usman now makes his first foray into the 185-pound division and he’s doing it on short notice. The longtime welterweight champion lost his title to Leon Edwards a little over a year ago in one of the greatest comebacks in history, and then dropped the rematch to Edwards back in March. Left at a crossroads for where to go next, Usman has apparently decided to chase two-division champion status, as UFC CEO Dana White declared that the winner of this co-main event will receive the first crack at champion Sean Strickland.
One of the most exciting fighters to enter the UFC in recent years, Chimaev seemed destined for welterweight gold until he badly missed weight at UFC 279, leading the promotion to force him to move up to 185 permanently. That transition was supposed to start with Chimaev settling his beef with Paulo Costa, but an infection pulled Costa from the event, allowing Usman to step in and finally deliver the fight that many believed would happen for welterweight gold.
Check out the UFC 294 co-main event live blog below.