Khamzat Chimaev (12-0) Vs Kamaru Usman (20-3)

In a last-minute shake-up to the original card, Kamaru Usman steps in to face top contender, Khamzat Chimaev, with just 11 days’ notice.

It wouldn’t surprise me if Usman was tipped off as a backup fighter well in advance of the 11-day notice when the match was officially announced.

Usman enjoyed a solid reign as champion until he suffered a devastating knockout by Leon Edwards in the final moment of their second fight, despite leading on the scorecards.

Their trilogy bout was fiercely competitive, ultimately decided by the judges siding with Edwards.

There’s no shame in those two losses, and I believe Usman is still on top of his game.

While there’s been speculation about Usman’s knees and possible injuries, I’m not placing too much weight on that issue and don’t think it will significantly impact this fight.

Chimaev has appeared nearly unstoppable in the octagon, except for his grueling three-round war with Gilbert Burns, where he had to fight life and death to secure the win.

In all his other fights, he delivered impressive finishes, although there is some questions on the quality of his opponents.

In my opinion, the odds and the public are heavily underestimating Usman.

If he can weather the storm in the first round, he has the potential to seize control of this fight and secure a victory by knockout or decision.

Pick: Kamaru Usman ML (+261)

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