UFC: Khamzat Chimaev Eyes Title Fight With Two More Wins
Khamzat Chimaev remains without an opponent for his first UFC main event at UFC Vegas 17 on December 19th.
Despite campaigning for a ranked opponent at either welterweight or middleweight, thus far Chimaev’s callouts to anyone and everyone in both divisions continue to fall on deaf ears. Seen as a high risk, low reward opponent due to his impressive performances so far, the unranked ‘Borz’ has had to bide his time while the UFC attempts to find a suitable dance partner.
Two Fights Away From A Title Shot
In an interview with UFC commentator Dan Hardy on Fight Island, Chimaev was asked when he thought he would be deserving of a title fight, and which weight class he preferred.
“I think now, two more fights,” Chimaev said. As for which weight class? “I don’t know. It doesn’t matter for me. Both guys, maybe both same day, both fights, we’ll see.”
“I Think Everybody’s Scared”
Chimaev then called for any opponent that would help propel him towards a title opportunity. In typical fashion, he wasn’t afraid to name and shame the prospective opponents that he believes declined to fight him on December 19th.
“I say to Dana White, just give me someone,” Chimaev said. “They say right now ‘This guy not top ten, not top five,’ Sometime they say nobody knows this guy. Everybody talk about me, how can you say nobody knows Khamzat? I think everybody’s scared. Everybody.
“They ask me always, my manager calls me and says ‘Want to fight Thompson?’ I say yes. Then they say he don’t want fight. They say Chris Weidman, I say yes. Chris Weidman don’t want fight. Demian Maia don’t want fight. They say Neil Magny, I say doesn’t matter, don’t ask me. Just give me somebody. 19 December they say okay let’s go, 19 December. Then Darren Till say something, I say come to Abu Dhabi. He say ‘I have fight in December,’ I also have fight in December. We can fight here and then in December also.”
Chimaev vs Whittaker?
At a time when members of the UFC roster are remaining inactive in order to preserve title fights or leverage more lucrative contracts, Chimaev is somewhat of anomaly given his willingness to take on any opponent with little notice. The Sweden-based Russian even tabbed former UFC middleweight champion Robert Whittaker as a potential future foe, hinting that he would be willing to step in to Saturday’s UFC 254 co-main event if ‘The Reaper’ or Jared Cannonier were to fall out.
“My friend is going to fight here, I come to help him,” he said, explaining his presence in Abu Dhabi. “But Robert Whittaker, he would be a good fight for me. He’s ex-champion. I like this guy but I have to smash this guy. We have to see.”
Fighting Edwards To Get To Usman?
A more likely outcome is that Khamzat’s upcoming main event will be contested at the welterweight limit. Extending his winning streak in the 170 pound division could put him on a collision course with current title holder Kamaru Usman, a man who he says he would also beat.
“He’s also a fighter, good fighter. But he don’t have that knockout punch like I have,” Chimaev said. “He don’t have wrestling like me. What he going to do? If I do my hard work in the gym, nobody can beat me in a fight.”
Since speaking to Hardy, Leon Edwards was reported to have been removed from the UFC welterweight rankings due to inactivity. In response, ‘Rocky’ took to social media to call out Chimaev. And of course, ‘Borz’ didn’t take long to accept the challenge
Who do you think will answer the call to fight Khamzat Chimaev on December 19th?