Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Khamzat Chimaev Tells Daniel Cormier Why He’s Better Than Him

Khamzat Chimaev has fired back after former two-division UFC champion Daniel Cormier doubted the welterweight’s chances of defeating middleweight titleholder Israel Adesanya.

In last weekend’s pay-per-view main event, Adesanya extended his rule over the 185-pound weight class with a unanimous decision victory over Robert Whittaker. With the triumph, “The Last Stylebender” improved his unbeaten middleweight record and added a fourth title defense to his immaculate résumé.

But despite the win, not everyone was impressed. In the aftermath, former flyweight and bantamweight king Henry Cejudo touted Chimaev as the man who can stop Adesanya’s dominance.

“Borz,” who has expressed a desire to achieve success at both welterweight and middleweight in the past, responded to Cejudo’s prediction by suggesting Adesanya “is not ready to die.”

While Chimaev’s dominance in the UFC to date has seen him dismantle and finish four opponents, including Gerald Meerschaert at 185 pounds, and gain widespread acclaim as a future welterweight champion, Daniel Cormier believes his success will be limited to 170 pounds for as long as Adesanya is on the middleweight throne.

During a recent episode of ESPN MMA’s DC & RC, the former heavyweight and light heavyweight titleholder suggested Chimaev’s downfall in a fight against Adesanya would be his nature to “rush” and search for an early finish.

“I’ve been hearing Chimaev from a lot of people. Cejudo said it this morning. My problem with Chimaev is: Chimaev’s going to rush, and because he’ll rush to get Izzy out of there, he’s gonna get himself into trouble,” said Cormier. “I don’t know if Chimaev is the guy because he’s obviously smaller (than Adesanya). But his style won’t allow for him to sit back with Adesanya.” (h/t Sportskeeda)

If there’s one man you have to expect a response from when discussing a future defeat for him, it’s Chimaev…

Chimaev To Cormier: “I’m Not You”

Before he even responded directly to Cormier, Chimaev has previously discussed one of the last remaining questions about his ability and potential: his conditioning.

Having never fought beyond the second minute of the second round in the UFC, and having finished three of his foes in the opening frame, many have questioned whether Chimaev can maintain his level of dominance and intense output across three or five rounds.

“Borz” recently answered those questions in an interview with RT Sport MMA by claiming he actually improves in the later rounds. Acknowledging Cormier’s “rush” theory, the Chechen-born Swede suggested he becomes more technical and calculated when he enters deeper waters because he’s too explosive and energetic at the start of fights.

With that belief in mind, it’s no surprise to see Chimaev shut Cormier’s prediction down emphatically. In a post on Twitter, the #11-ranked welterweight contender had a simple response: “I’m not you.”

“@dc_mma for you and your team, it may be a problem, but not for me. If you think he might be a problem for me let him try to stop me. Do you know why I am better than you? because I’m not you, I’m different”

As it stands, with compatriot Kamaru Usman on the welterweight throne, Adesanya is safe from below. But if Chimaev dispatches Gilbert Burns, a matchup that’s long been rumored and is expected for the coming months, and continues his unbeaten form all the way to one belt, “The Last Stylebender” may well be met with a puzzle unsolved by anyone during Borz’s pursuit of another.

Although with their latest exchange, perhaps that previously discussed Cormier vs. Chimaev wrestling match will come first…

How do you think a fight between Khamzat Chimaev and Israel Adesanya would play out?

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