UFC welterweight prospect Khamzat Chimaev has said that he believes he can choke out Demian Maia if they fought anytime soon.
Chimaev has burst onto the UFC scene with three finishes in 66 days. “Borz” finished John Phillips with a D’arce choke in the second round of his octagon debut at UFC on ESPN 13 in July before turning around 11 days later with a first-round TKO win over Rhys McKee. The 26-year-old earned his third straight performance bonus following his one-punch KO over a 44-fight veteran in Meerschaert.
Khamzat Chimaev has arguably taken UFC by storm. The Russian born fighter has been unstoppable since his debut at Fight Island. His relentless pursuit of wanting to fight as often as possible has drawn a lot of fan interest.
Many MMA stars and officials including Jon Jones, Joe Rogan, and Belal Muhammad reacted to Khamzat’s win, but the biggest praise came from Dana White. The UFC President hailed Chimaev at the post-fight press conference and called him “special” before insisting that he is “different than any fighter” he has ever seen.
Khamzat Chimaev: “I’m ready for everybody.”
As per UFC President Dana White, a matchup between Chimaev and former title challenger Demian Maia was being targeted for November. But as of now, the fight is not yet signed, and White said it’s possible that Khamzat could even be booked for another fight before Maia. “I don’t know what I do with Khamzat yet,” White said. “He might fight before Maia and fight Maia, too. Maia’s not going to be ready in time for this kid.”
“I want to fight with Demian Maia,” Khamzat said at a scrum on Fight Island (via MMA Fighting). “Maybe I choke him out and get the black belt, we will see. If he wants to fight with me, I am ready.”
Chimaev stated that he’s comfortable fighting at either middleweight or welterweight and that his newfound notoriety hasn’t affected his training regimen. However, he has enjoyed talking to and taking pictures with fans, describing it all as “good energy.”
Other names that he sees as possible opponents are former middleweight champion Chris Weidman and welterweight veteran Neil Magny. Regardless of who is next, he is certain that a UFC title shot is in his future whether it’s this year or in 2021.
“For me, it doesn’t matter,” Chimaev said. “I want to fight, I love to fight. The belt is coming. What are they gonna do? I finished all my opponents. They have to give me the belt.”
As for which champion he’d prefer to face, welterweight titleholder Kamaru Usman or middleweight titleholder Israel Adesanya; Chimaev is open to either option.
“It doesn’t matter,” Chimaev said. “I do my hard work in the gym, I’m ready for everybody.”
Chimaev and Till have been going back and forth on social media in the last week. Khamzat wasn’t surprised to see Till calling him out because in his mind the ‘Gorrila’ is not on his level.
“No, why surprised?” he said. “This guy’s nice, but not my level. I’m going to take him down, I’m going to smash him.”
UFC president Dana White has said that Chimaev’s next fight will be in the main event for an upcoming card in Las Vegas.
Who would guys love to see Chimaev fight next?
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