Chimaev has quickly become the most talked-about fighter in world MMA having mauled his way into conversation amongst the elite inside the UFC. At UFC 273, he faced his toughest test to date in Gilbert Burns.
Prior to UFC 273, the Swede had showcased why he must be feared right from the off when he put on a clinic inside the Octagon in his UFC debut before calling for his next fight to be in ten days’ time. His wish was granted and that’s where the story truly began as his next victim, Rhys McKee, was also obliterated with ease.
With plenty of UFC fighters still unsold on the hype of Chimaev, the 27-year-old looked to take down a more respected name. This time, it took him only one punch to send shivers down the spines of his competitors as he starched Gerald Meerschaert in a staggering 17 seconds.
Up next, a ranked opponent, Li Jingliang, a tough #11-ranked welterweight. Chimaev pushed his record to 10-0 as he toyed with ‘The Leech’, bringing him over to Dana White‘s side of the Octagon before submitting him in terrifying fashion.
In a video on his YouTube channel breaking down Chimaev prior to UFC 273, Wonderboy explained why he believed ‘The Wolf’ became one of the most feared men in the UFC.
“He is one of, if not the most, anticipated prospects in MMA,” Thompson said. “It’s one thing to have skills, to have strength, and technique. But when you combine that with willpower, and the determination to win, you have a scary opponent right there in front of you.
“We haven’t seen the other side of Khamzat Chimaev, just his wrestling. We don’t know what else he’s capable of. We haven’t seen how he handles adversity in the cage. We haven’t seen somebody backing him up on his heels. How does he handle that kind of stuff? We don’t know.”s had yet to be identified which is what makes him so special…
“We haven’t seen any of his weaknesses. Have you seen this guy get knocked down? Have you seen him get taken down? Have you seen him get submitted? No. What works against him? We don’t know. I think that’s what makes this guy so special.” (h/t Fightaverse)
Thompson Believes Fighters Now See A Path To Slay The Wolf After UFC 273
At UFC 273, Chimaev overcame the most adversity he’s ever faced in his career when he earned a monumental victory over Gilbert Burns via unanimous decision.
However, before Burns agreed to take on the rising star, Chimaev had struggled to find an opponent who was willing to face him, proving the fear factor is real.
Now, after watching Burns’ success against Chimaev at UFC 273, including becoming the first man to win a round over “Borz,” Thompson believes it may be easier for Borz to get opponents to sign on the dotted line.
“They’re thinking, ‘OK, if I can withstand that first barrage, that first takedown defense in the first round…if I can get past that, I got a chance,” Wonderboy said on his YouTube channel. If I can defend the takedown, if I can keep Khamzat on his heels—because he didn’t do well backing up—I got a shot there.”
Wonderboy has faced Burns himself and knows all about how difficult it is to defeat the Brazilian. Thus, Thompson believes welterweights are more confident against Chimaev than before, he still remains very impressed with what he saw from the 27-year-old upstart.
“It was smart of Khamzat not to go for the takedown (in round 3), just to stay long because Gilbert had a problem in the third round getting past his long jab, his reach. So he adapted through there, which shows he’s able to adapt out there in the middle of a fight. It shows experience. So he is going to get better. He is going to get better, which is scary.”
Do you think Khamzat Chimaev is still or has ever been the most feared man in the UFC’s welterweight division?