Sunday, May 9, 2021

Geoff Neal: Khamzat Chimaev’s Push Has Nothing To Do With Fighting

Geoff Neal understands why Khamzat Chimaev is getting pushed to the moon by the UFC, and he thinks it has nothing to do with fighting merits.

While some fighters land on the top of fight cards gradually like the descent of winter snow, Khamzat Chimaev has dropped onto the main-event scene like an avalanche. Chimaev has been nothing short of impeccably dominant in his three UFC outings, but is that enough for him to already be pitted against the #3-ranked welterweight in the promotion? Geoff Neal thinks not.

“Honestly, it’s frustrating in a way but I signed up for this sh*t,” Neal told MMA Fighting about Chimaev. “It’s the UFC, it’s a business. [Chimaev] did what he had to do to get where he’s at so I can’t really hate on the man for it. Does he deserve it? Yeah, in a way. If we’re talking about fighting, no. But if we’re talking about business, yeah, he deserved it.”

Geoff Neal would elaborate on why he believes Chimaev has not yet earned his current position in the rankings or at the top of a lineup through merit, especially if we are talking about his achievements, or lack thereof, in the welterweight division. 

“He only fought one welterweight so if we’re talking about fighting and him deserving to fight the No. 3 ranked welterweight? Hell no, he don’t deserve that,” Neal said. “But if we’re talking about business and how he got the hype behind him, yeah, he deserves that.”

Geoff Neal will also be in his first UFC main event against a top-5 opponent in Stephen Thompson tomorrow night at UFC Vegas 17 in the slot that was originally intended for Chimaev in a bout against Leon Edwards, which has now been rescheduled.

What are your thoughts on Geoff Neal’s comments about Khamzat Chimaev?