Maximov seized the moment in his second career UFC fight at UFC Vegas 47. In his first promotional co-main event opportunity, he earned a largely dominant win over Punahele Soriano in which he scored a series of takedowns throughout the fight.
Maximov, a protege of Nick and Nate Diaz, wants tougher competition for his next Octagon appearance. At 24 years old, he’s widely regarded as one of the top middleweight prospects in the UFC.
Despite being just two fights into his UFC career, he’s open to the idea of facing the rising star Chimaev. During a recent interview with TMZ Sports, Maximov promoted the idea of fighting Chimaev next.
“I think so, too,” Maximov said when asked about a fight with Chimaev making sense. “Khamzat’s fighting all these little a** guys but I’ll like to fight him next. He tries to call out Nate and Nick, it’s like fight me then. We’re both in the same boat… but why are people scared of him, know what I’m saying? He hasn’t fought any wrestlers. He’s a wrestler, but he hasn’t fought any wrestlers. So I’m like, ‘What the fuck?”
Maximov would then close with a final message for Chimaev.
“Fight me next then, because he hasn’t fought any wrestlers. He’s fought MMA fighters and I’m a martial artist who can wrestle. I just made the record [for takedowns] in my second UFC fight. In my second UFC fight, I was the co-main event, so who else is doing that?”
Chimaev is also undefeated in his professional MMA career and is coming off of another impressive finish over Li Jingliang at UFC 267. While nothing is set in stone just yet, he’s widely expected to face Gilbert Burns later this year.
If the Burns fight falls through, Chimaev seems to have a willing opponent in Maximov. As showcased during his UFC debut win at UFC 266 and his lopsided victory on Dana White‘s Contender Series, Maximov may present the type of grappling challenge that Chimaev hasn’t faced yet.
Who do you want to see Nick Maximov fight next?