Monday, May 16, 2022

Former UFC Commentator Predicted Chimaev’s Rise Years Before Debut

Five years ago, then-UFC commentator Brian Stann predicted that Khamzat Chimaev would be a special fighter in the Octagon.

Just days ahead of Chimaev’s biggest fight of his career at UFC 273, it’s safe to say that Stann was correct with his assessment.

Chimaev is set to face former welterweight title challenger Gilbert Burns in a three-round main card bout at UFC 273. He is looking to win his fifth-straight fight in the UFC since bursting onto the scene following his debut in 2020.

During a 2017 Q+A session ahead of UFC Auckland, Stann teased Chimaev’s rise to stardom while Chimaev was just beginning his professional career.

“There’s a welterweight in Sweden, at Sweden MMA All-Stars that train Alexander Gustafsson. I don’t know his name. I just know him by reputation,” Stann told fans.

“He’s not in the UFC yet, but he has a whole lot of success with all of the big names that train out of MMA All-Stars in Stockholm, and when we get this kid signed, I think he’s going to make some real waves.” (h/t talkSPORT)

MMA reporter Ariel Helwani would later confirm on his substack page that Stann was referring to Chimaev.

Chimaev could potentially earn a welterweight title shot with a win over Burns at UFC 273. Despite being out-experienced by Burns, he enters this weekend as the big betting favorite.

Chimaev most recently defeated Li Jingliang at UFC 267 via first-round submission. All four of his UFC wins have come by either knockout or submission, and he hasn’t fought into Round 3 during his Octagon tenure.

Chimaev has big plans for 2022, including potential title shots at welterweight and middleweight. If he wants a shot against the Kamaru Usman/Leon Edwards winner next, he’ll need to put on another impressive performance at UFC 273.

What are your predictions for Khamzat Chimaev this year?

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