Chimaev will hope to begin his charge to title contention when he returns to action this weekend. After breaking onto the scene like very few have done before him, “Borz” established himself as a future star.
After a dominant debut against John Phillips on Fight Island last July, Chimaev returned to the Octagon just 10 days later, brutalizing Rhys McKee in a similar fashion to his first appearance. The quick turnaround marked a new record for the fastest consecutive wins in modern UFC history, with the official record still being held by Royce Gracie.
As if that wasn’t enough, Chimaev traveled to Las Vegas soon after and set another record. A vicious 17-second KO against Gerald Meerschaert earned the Chechen-born Swede his third straight Performance of the Night bonus, and set the record for the fastest three-fight win streak in the promotion’s history (66 days).
Chimaev Hopes To Become The Nigerian’s Nightmare
After a grueling battle with COVID-19, which saw the cancelation of multiple bookings with top welterweight contender Leon Edwards, Chimaev will finally be making his fourth walk to the UFC Octagon this Saturday at UFC 267. In the second fight of the event’s main card, “Borz” will face ranked contender Li Jingliang.
While he won’t be looking past the threat of “The Leech” until after the Abu Dhabi-held card, Chimaev is keeping a close eye on the 170-pound title scene. Whilst he’s competed at middleweight in the promotion before, the 27-year-old’s future appears to be at welterweight, which is why Chimaev believes his path will eventually go through dominant champion Kamaru Usman.
During a recent interview with UFC Arabia, the product of Stockholm’s Allstar Training Center was asked whether he hopes “The Nigerian Nightmare” will still be on the throne when he reaches title contention. Despite being sceptical of how much time the champ has left, Chimaev assured the welterweight king that he’s coming for him.
“I hope so. But how old is he? 35? Something like that? He doesn’t have so much time now. But I’m coming for him before he go.”
Despite having only fought unranked opposition in the UFC so far, a victory over Jingliang this weekend would see Chimaev move into the rankings and within touching distance of the top 10. A victory against another top opponent after that would likely place “Borz” close to a championship opportunity.
Given the contenders Usman has already fought and beaten, some of them twice, the fresh challenge of Chimaev could be favored by the promotion when booking a defense for “The Nigerian Nightmare,” should he still be in possession of the gold.
How do you think Khamzat Chimaev would fare against UFC Welterweight Champion Kamaru Usman?