Saturday, October 1, 2022

Dana White Names Potential Opponent For Chimaev Aside From Diaz

Aside from a potential clash with Stockton superstar Nate Diaz, UFC President Dana White also believes Khamzat Chimaev could be matched up with a top-five welterweight next.

Despite being forced to remain on the sidelines for over a year, Chimaev’s return last weekend has built his hype to an all-time high. “Borz” debuted on Fight Island last summer. With dominant victories over John Phillips and Rhys McKee, Chimaev set a new record for the fastest consecutive wins in modern UFC history (10 days).

In another quick turnaround, Chimaev then faced off with the now-in form veteran Gerald Meerschaert. The Chechen-born Swede knocked “GM3” out in just 17 seconds. With Meerschaert’s consecutive submission victories over Bartosz Fabiński and Makhmud Muradov this year, Chimaev’s brutal KO is perhaps even more impressive looking back on it.

After falling ill with a serious case of COVID-19, Chimaev saw multiple bookings with #3-ranked Leon Edwards fall through, and even considered retirement. But after making a full recovery, Chimaev returned in style. Picking up where he left off last year in Abu Dhabi, “Borz” decimated #11-ranked Li Jingliang inside one round at UFC 267.

Dana White: Chimaev Is Ready For The Top 5

Chimaev’s success has perhaps been the biggest story to come out of last weekend’s event. Considering Glover Teixeira’s record-breaking title crowning, Petr Yan’s five-round war with Cory Sandhagen, and Islam Makhachev ‘s first-frame kimura, that’s certainly saying something. Discussions have mainly surrounded who the surging star should face next.

Having broken into the top 10 in this week’s rankings update, many believe the 27-year-old is only one win away from a shot at welterweight gold. So far, it appears the most interest is towards a clash against fan-favorite brawler Nate Diaz next.

The veteran was last in action against Edwards at UFC 263, and made it clear that he plans on competing before the end of the year. With Dana White claiming he’s “100 percent” down to book that fight, and Chimaev expressing his desire to face Diaz on Twitter, it seems that matchup is the frontrunner.

However, the UFC is keeping their options open. During an interview with Yahoo! Sports’ Kevin Iole, White suggested another potential foe for “Borz” to enter the Octagon with next. In what would likely be a title eliminator, the UFC kingpin believes a fight with Gilbert Burns would make sense.

“I think now you take him up and get him somebody in the top 5. Nate Diaz was looking for a fight. Khamzat wants to turn around so we’re talking to Nate Diaz about it. Gilbert Burns wouldn’t be a bad fight. He’s ready for that top 5.”

Burns was last in action at UFC 264 in July. In a controlled performance, “Durinho” defeated striking phenom Stephen Thompson on the scorecards. While “Wonderboy” looks to rebound when he returns at the December 18 Fight Night, as confirmed by MMA News, Burns will be looking to secure a second crack at the welterweight throne in his next performance. Could that be against Khamzat Chimaev? Only time will tell.

How do you think a fight between Khamzat Chimaev and Gilbert Burns would play out?

Related Articles