WATCH: Unseen footage of impressive matchmaking behind Khamzat Chimaev vs. Kamaru Usman after Paulo Costa injury

New UFC docuseries shows how Kamaru Usman was booked on short notice to fight Khamzat Chimaev.

WATCH: Unseen footage of impressive matchmaking behind Khamzat Chimaev vs. Kamaru Usman after Paulo Costa injury

Kamaru Usman vs Khamzat Chimaev made in last minute for UFC 294 (Image via Imago)

The UFC 294 event was real trouble for the promotion. The matchmakers had to act fast to save the event after Paulo Costa had to pull out days before the event. The latest docuseries revealed how Kamaru Usman was convinced to show up against Khamzat Chimaev on short notice.

The UFC just released the ‘Fight Inc.: Inside the UFC’ docuseries on Roku. The series captured Hunter Campbell informing Dana White that Paulo Costa had to pull out of the fight. The UFC’s chief business officer had to act quickly to save the co-main event. Campbell immediately went on the call with Kamaru Usman’s manager Ali Abdelaziz as he negotiated the ‘Nigerian Nightmare’ stepping in to face Khamzat Chimaev on short notice.

He'll have the opportunity to fight the number one guy that everyone knows is the guy. His best buddy Izzy is not the champion anymore. He and Strickland is the fight that I can actually make fast if he wins.
Hunter Campbell to Ali Abdelaliz on Fight Inc: Inside the UFC

Things worked out in the end. Usman flew into Abu Dhabi to take on ‘Borz’ in the middleweight division on nine days’ notice. The fight went the distance and Usman lost the fight via majority decision. The former welterweight champion said after the fight that he could have won if he had more rounds on hand.

The undefeated Chechen will now take on Robert Whittaker this June headlining UFC on ABC 6. Meanwhile, Usman has not stepped in the octagon as of yet although there have been rumors of a potential showdown with Stephen Thompson. However, what was interesting was what could have been a showdown between Sean Strickland and Kamaru Usman, had Usman won.

Kamaru Usman and Sean Strickland’s rematch at middleweight

Hunter Campbell had promised Kamaru Usman a showdown against Sean Strickland if the former welterweight champion had pulled off a win at UFC 294. This was right after Strickland had become champion of the middleweight division at UFC 293 after he defeated Israel Adesanya. However, it would not have been their first encounter in the octagon, had Usman defeated Chimaev.

Kamaru Usman and Sean Strickland's rematch
Kamaru Usman and Sean Strickland’s rematch(Image via Imago)

The Nigerian and Strickland previously had a showdown in the octagon when Strickland was still in the welterweight division. This was back in 2017 at UFC 210 when Usman was still a contender for the title. Their fight went the distance but Usman came out on top with the unanimous decision win.

However, what would happen if they faced each other now? Usman is far from a title fight at welterweight. However, he had impressed fans with his middleweight debut and even revealed plans to explore the new weight class. Meanwhile, Strickland who wanted a title rematch with Dricus Du Plessis has a long wait ahead of him as well.

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