White has been singing the praises of the UFC‘s hot new prospect since he first debuted in the promotion. Even after being gone for a year due to health issues, the UFC President maintained that videos about Chimaev that were posted to the promotion’s social media were doing crazy numbers ahead of his return.
After Chimaev utterly dominated Li Jingliang at UFC 267 last month, people started to ask questions about just how fast he would get pushed to a title shot, with some even suggesting he could next be facing the winner of UFC 268‘s main event title fight between Kamaru Usman and Colby Covington.
However, White spoke with TSN to say that he is not sure that this is the right move for someone as green as Chimaev, saying he might need a couple more fights first.
“I don’t know if Chimaev is ready for that yet. (a title shot) Chimaev just broke into the top ten by fighting number eleven. It’s a whole ‘nother ball game when you get into the top ten, and you start fighting five and up. He’s one or two fights away from a championship,” White said.
There is certainly room for understanding when it comes to why some people feel like Khamzat Chimaev will be fighting for a title soon, regardless of what Dana White says. This is the product of what happens when you book someone against the number-two ranked contender in the world for their fourth fight in the promotion, even if that never materialized.
Nevertheless, White is probably right that another fight or two would be best for Chimaev, and he added in the interview that he was hopeful to get the Chechen back in the Octagon before the end of the year. The plan seems to be leaning towards Nate Diaz as the next fight for Chimaev, but time will tell what actually happens.
Check out the full interview with Dana White below: