Chael Sonnen wants Khamzat Chimaev to move up to middleweight

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Khamzat Chimaev is one of the most exciting fighters in the current UFC roster without a doubt. The undefeated Chechnya-born Swede is 4-0 in the Octagon and has been rising up the welterweight pecking order with expectations of landing a title fight against the seemingly invincible Kamaru Usman within this year. However, former UFC star and mixed martial arts analyst Chael Sonnen believes Chimaev should fortify his presence in middleweight rather than welterweight.

Stop this 170 business: Chael Sonnen believes its ‘not too late’ for Khamzat Chimaev to settle at 185

Khamzat Chimaev is coming off of a first round submission win over Li Jingliang at UFC 267 in October last year and is highly anticipated to make a return against former title contender Gilbert Burns up next, followed by a possible 170-lb title shot against Usman in late 2022. However in his early days as a professional mixed martial artist, Chimaev had a couple fights at middleweight, at Fight Club Rush 3 and then at Brave CF 20, and a part of his fanbase believe that 185 is where “The Wolf” looks more natural.

Meanwhile, Chael Sonnen, who has contested for the middleweight title both in the UFC as well as the WEC during his prime, rides on the same boat and claims Chimaev needs three or four more bouts before picking 170 or 185.

“It’s not too late, stop. Stop this 170 business,” Sonnen said on his official YouTube channel, “We are not dying to see you in there with Kamaru Usman. The entire draw to Chimaev is let’s see how far he can get. Let’s see if this bundle of excitement is the real deal. That doesn’t have anything to do with Usman, it doesn’t have anything to do with Izzy.”

“He is still two, three, four fights, if you’re listening to Dana White, away from even being in championship conversation, so our mind isn’t there yet. He needs to pick whatever division he thinks he has the greatest path [in].”

“At that point, we’ll listen to him, I’m just not sure that’s what he did. I think somebody else got a hold of him. I think someone else has worked him on the you’d do well with 205, you did great at 85, we gotta get you to welterweight. I’m telling you, it’s not too late,” he added. [H/T]


  • Chael Sonnen believes Khamzat Chimaev should make a move to middleweight rather than sticking to welterweight
  • Chimaev is 4-0 in the UFC and is expected to return against Gilbert Burns up next

Do you agree with Chael Sonnen? Let us know in the comments.

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