Chimaev burst onto the scene last year. After six professional fights and six finishes, four of which came via knockouts, “Borz” made his UFC debut on Fight Island in July. At UFC Fight Night: Kattar vs. Ige, Chimaev announced his arrival with an utterly dominant performance against John Phillips.
Just 10 days later, Chimaev faced Rhys McKee. Another destructive showing saw him record back-to-back performance bonuses and mark a new record for the fastest consecutive wins in modern UFC history. His third fight saw him set another record, this time for the fastest three-fight winning streak (66 days). Against Gerald Meerschaert at UFC Vegas 11, the Chechen-born Swede showed his power on the feet, knocking the veteran out in just 17 seconds.
After a rough battle with COVID-19, which saw multiple bookings with Leon Edwards fall through and even thought of retirement enter his head, Chimaev returned to action after over a year at UFC 267 this past weekend. Against the #11-ranked Li Jingliang, Chimaev showed that his hype is well-deserved. In the opening round, “Borz” effortless grounded “The Leech,” took his back, and put him to sleep with a rear-naked choke.
Brunson Says Ranked Welterweights Are “Tripping”
Chimaev’s victory accomplished a host of feats. Not only did he return in style against a high-ranked contender, but he established himself as a threat to Kamaru Usman‘s welterweight throne, extended his unbeaten record to 10-0, and broke the UFC’s Instagram Live record during his walk to the Octagon.
One of the hottest discussions to come out of the Abu Dhabi event has surrounded what’s next for Chimaev. At the moment, it appears interest in a clash with Stockton superstar Nate Diaz is leading the way, both among fans and inside the UFC. Dana White recently suggested he’s 100% down for booking that clash. But one man doesn’t understand why the 170-pound top 15 is remaining quiet.
#4-ranked middleweight Derek Brunson has questioned why the division’s top contenders are allowing “Borz” to climb the welterweight ladder without being called out. Taking to social media, the veteran suggested they’re “tripping” for letting the 27-year-old advance past them.
“So y’all WWs are just going to let Khamzat Chimaev pass y’all in the rankings, title shots & not call him out. Y’all tripping”
Despite Brunson’s claims, Chimaev has been called out by a top-10 welterweight. Neil Magny, who’s previously expressed a willingness to face the surging prospect, claimed he can be the one to drag Chimaev into deep waters. Replying to a post uploaded to Instagram by ESPN MMA, which included a post-fight quote from Chimaev, “The Haitian Sensation” said, “Let’s go then.” He further laid down a challenge for December.
Who would you like to see Khamzat Chimaev face next?