Khamzat Chimaev to fight replacement Kamaru Usman at UFC 294

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The UFC 294 card has undergone another change in opponents with former UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman added to the card.

Usman will move up to 185 pounds to take the place of Paulo Costa against Khamzat Chimaev.

Chimaev was set to fight Costa, who revealed earlier this week that he recently underwent elbow surgery.

MMA Fighting reported that Costa is back in the hospital, per his manager Tamara Alves. Alves stated that Costa underwent a second procedure on Tuesday due to a staph infection in his elbow and is now set for a third operation on Friday to clean out the area.

This message goes to my fans. Unfortunately, I am hospitalized and had to do a second surgery yesterday. According to doctors, a third surgery will be necessary on Friday.
So, I will not be medically cleared to fight on October 21st

The Abu Dhabi card still amazing I’m no happy…

— Paulo Costa ( Borrachinha ) (@BorrachinhaMMA) October 11, 2023

Dana White made the announcement of the new fight, which will see Usman move up to middleweight for the first time, and takes the fight on ten days’ notice.


Can’t wait to get to Abu Dhabi!!!! @ufc @USMAN84kg @KChimaev @alexvolkanovski @MAKHACHEVMMA #InAbuDhabi @VisitAbuDhabi

— danawhite (@danawhite) October 11, 2023

This comes one day after the main event of UFC 294 was changed due to a cut sustained by Charles Oliveira leading to a rematch between Islam Makhachev and Alexander Volkanovski for the lightweight title on October 21.

Usman lost the welterweight title to Leon Edwards in August 2022 at UFC 278 by knockout and lost a rematch to Edwards by majority decision at UFC 286 this past March.