Khamzat Chimaev is keeping his options open.
Khamzat Chimaev has been quickly rising up the ranks since his first couple of fights in the UFC. He now has the chance to fight a top contender in Gilbert Burns and a victory could land him a title shot. Chimaev is anticipating fighting for a title in the near future, but if that option is not readily available, he would be open to a different name.
Chimaev spoke with Ariel Helwani of MMA Fighting about his upcoming bout and what might be next for him. When the name Colby Covington was brought up, Chimaev seemed receptive to the idea.
“If Usman (will be out for a long time), I’d fight with Colby, and I’d kill that guy. Nobody could (really) knock him out,” he told The MMA Hour. “(You have to) knock him out like (he’s) dead, (so he can’t) talk more. That’s how to do it. Usman couldn’t do that, Masvidal couldn’t do that. I’m gonna do it.”
Chimaev has won all of his UFC bouts so far. He came into the organization back in 2020 and he won three in a row in a short amount of time. Since then, he has made his way to the #11 spot but secured a bout with the #2-ranked fighter. If he can defeat Burns and find himself near the top of the rankings, he may be able to have his choice of next opponent.
Although the next title shot has been promised to Leon Edwards, that is not set in stone. In the UFC, fighters are constantly leap-frogging over one another due to great performances, trash talk, or other external factors. Usman appears to be out of competition until summer and a lot can happen in that time.
How do you think a potential fight between Khamzat Chimaev and Colby Covington will go?