Following Khamzat Chimaev’s victory over Kamaru Usman at UFC 294, the Russian felt that he had broken his hand during the first round of the match, but it turns out it was just a torn ligament.
According to reports from ESPN, Chimaev (13-0) will be out for at least a month to repair the damage incurred to his hand. While this seems like a short timeline for recovery, the time off could change the plans for him to be next in line to fight for Sean Strickland’s middleweight title.
There is speculation that with Chimaev in a brace for at least four weeks, that the UFC may decide to have Dricus Du Plessis (20-2) receive the opportunity for the next title shot. Du Plessis, like Chimaev, is undefeated in his time with the UFC and is coming off a big knockout win over Robert Whittaker (24-6).
After Chimaev overcame Usman at UFC 294, Strickland was asked to comment on how deserving “Borz” was of the next title shot.
“The only thing I like about Chimaev is that he sells fights,” Strickland said on UFC Fight Pass. “For some reason, people f*cking like him or don’t like him. I don’t know. To me, he’s a f*cking paycheck. He sells a lot of fights. People pay to watch, but he f*cking hasn’t earned it.
“He hasn’t f*cking deserved it, but here we are. Give it to him. He sells a lot of fights. I’ll go fight the f*cking man for five rounds. But no, he’s not earned it. He doesn’t f*cking deserve it. Getting a decision with a welterweight off the couch is not f*king earning it.”
— UFC FIGHT PASS (@UFCFightPass) October 22, 2023