Since arriving in the UFC, Chimaev has quickly grown from prospect to a contender and future champion in the eyes of many pundits and fans. In his four victories in the Octagon to date, “Borz” has knocked out Gerald Meerschaert and choked ranked 170lber Li Jingliang unconscious.
With his 10-0 record and fast ascension up the UFC ladder, the anticipation for Chimaev’s fifth walk to the Octagon is high. And while fans are now looking forward to that appearance next month, it turns out if alternate plans had come to fruition, we’d be discussing another concluded Chimaev fight this week.
This past weekend, MMA’s premier promotion returned to the UK for the first time since 2019. Thanks to memorable victories for Tom Aspinall, Paddy Pimblett, Molly McCann, Ilia Topuria, and Paul Craig, the event will undoubtedly go down as one of the best of 2022.
But according to the #4-ranked Vicente Luque, fans could have seen a crucial welterweight bout go down towards the top of the card.
During a recent interview with The AllStar, the Brazilian claimed to have accepted an offer from the UFC to share the Octagon with Chimaev in London. While he’s unsure the reasoning for the matchup ultimately not coming together, Luque assured that he was more than willing to scrap with the Chechen-born Swede inside the O2.
“I did get offered to fight Chimaev in London,” Luque revealed. “And I told the UFC that I was ready for that. I think Belal (Muhammad) was also offered that fight as well. But it didn’t work out… I don’t really know why it didn’t. They offered me the fight and I said I would take it. I don’t know if there was some sort of issue with Chimaev or if they wanted to wait and make the fight at another moment.”
While White believes a title clash between English contender Leon Edwards and reigning welterweight king Kamaru Usman is the only thing that could have made UFC London any better, it’s hard to deny that a Luque vs. Chimaev fight would have also added something to the memorable event.
Crucial April Outings On The Horizon For Vicente Luque & Khamzat Chimaev
With a collision in England’s capital this month not happening for either man, Luque and Muhammad will come together for the second time in a five-round headliner on April 17.
With both sitting inside the welterweight top five and riding impressive win streaks, their UFC Fight Night main event will be crucial in determining a future challenger for the champion.
Meanwhile, after missing out on the chance to fight in his home continent for whatever reason, Chimaev’s attention will now solely be on the toughest test of his career to date.
A week prior to Luque vs. Muhammad, “Borz” will look to join them at the top of the division when he faces former title challenger and #2-ranked contender Gilbert Burns. The pair will meet on a stacked UFC 273 pay-per-view card set for Jacksonville, Florida on April 9.
With Edwards likely next in line for a championship opportunity, it stands to reason we’ll have a much clearer look at the queue for a shot behind “Rocky” at the conclusion of next month’s key welterweight fights.
How do you think a fight between Vicente Luque and Khamzat Chimaev would have played out?