Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Dana White: Nobody Wants To Fight Khamzat Chimaev

UFC President Dana White has described surging welterweight contender Khamzat Chimaev as one of the “baddest dudes” he’s come across, and claimed nobody wants to face him inside the Octagon.

Not many fighters have transcended from relative obscurity to the brink of stardom in a more impressive and rapid way than Chimaev. In four UFC outings, “Borz” has built a reputation as an always-game, destructive, and dominant athlete, who is seemingly already inches away from a title shot.

After winning his opening three fights on MMA’s biggest stage against John Phillips, Rhys McKee, and Gerald Meerschaert within the space of 66 days, Chimaev found himself sidelined for over a year due to a tough battle with COVID-19. But when he returned at UFC 267, the Chechen-born Swede picked right back up from where he left off.

Maintaining his 100% finishing record in the UFC, Chimaev submitted ranked contender Li Jingliang inside the opening frame. After choking “The Leech” unconscious in Abu Dhabi, the undefeated 27-year-old it made it clear he was ready to “smash” anyone and everyone.

Chimaev’s Next Challenge

Having jumped back onto the welterweight ladder in emphatic fashion, talk has turned to who Chimaev could face next. While some have called for him to be elevated to the top to face Kamaru Usman, Dana White suggested he needs “one or two” more victories over top contenders before competing for the title.

During a recent appearance on the Jim Rome Podcast, the UFC kingpin said that while no opponent has been made official, they’re hoping to confirm Chimaev’s next matchup soon.

“Khamzat Chimaev is one of the baddest dudes that I’ve ever come across. He is literally willing to fight anyone and doesn’t care what the timeframe is or any of that stuff… We’re working on (getting his next fight booked). Hopefully this week we’ll have an opponent for him.”

However, finding that foe is seemingly proving to be a tough task. White suggested that, understandably, not many are throwing their name into the hat to be matched up with the wrestling brute. That’s despite what some contenders may say on Twitter and Instagram.

“Nobody wants to fight this guy. Everybody wants to get out on social media and say this or that. But when it really comes down to it, nobody is trying to fight Khamzat Chimaev. I don’t blame them.” (h/t MMA Junkie)

Despite initially confirming he was 100% down to organize Chimaev vs. Nate Diaz, the radio silence on that booking seems to suggest the Stockton native will face another name for the final fight of his UFC contract.

Attention has since turned to a potential clash with former title challenger and top-five welterweight Gilbert Burns. Last month, it was revealed that the UFC was targeting a clash between “Durinho” and “Borz” for January. While there’s yet to be any official word or update on the matter, Chimaev recently suggested the ball is in the court of the Brazilian’s manager Ali Abdelaziz.

With Daniel Cormier, Leon Edwards, and even Brock Lesnar and Georges St-Pierre recently in the firing line, it’s anyone’s guess who Chimaev will call out next…

Who would you like to see Khamzat Chimaev enter the Octagon with next?

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