Khamzat Chimaev just earned the biggest win of his career at UFC 294 and he was promoted to BJJ brown belt in the octagon immediately after beating Kamaru Usman. The fight only came about due to chance, as Chimaev was originally scheduled to compete against fellow top middleweight contender Paulo Costa in the co-main event of the night. Unfortunately, Costa was forced to withdraw from the fight due to injury at the last minute, and he was replaced by the former welterweight world champion. Although moving up in weight was a big challenge for Usman, there was also a huge potential upside as the fight would serve as a title eliminator.
Chimaev was able to show off the fantastic grappling skills that he has become known for against a far more experienced opponent, taking Usman down multiple times over the course of their fight. Chimaev won the first round very cleanly by controlling him from top position for almost the entire round, but wasn’t able to impose his will quite as successfully from that point onward. Usman started to come back into the fight but it was too little to late, and Chimaev had already done enough work across their three-round fight in order to secure the victory.
Khamzat Chimaev had won a majority decision with a pair of 29-28 scores at UFC 294 and after Bruce Buffer had read out the result, he received his BJJ brown belt as well. His coach, Alan ‘Finfou’ Nascimento has previously spoken out about how Chimaev has been able to outperform veteran BJJ black belts in the cage so far and it seems like he thought that deserved some more recognition. Now Chimaev has booked his place opposite the reigning UFC middleweight world champion Sean Strickland, it’ll be interesting to see if he can prove that he’s wrong about the effectiveness of Jiu-Jitsu.
The UFC shared footage of Khamzat Chimaev leaving the octagon at UFC 294 with his brand new BJJ brown belt wrapped around his waist in a post to their official Instagram account: