Sunday, September 25, 2022

Cejudo Criticizes Chimaev For Dismissing Future Whittaker Fight

Former two-division UFC champion Henry Cejudo has questioned Khamzat Chimaev‘s decision to dismiss the idea of facing Robert Whittaker down the line.

At UFC 279, Chimaev further cemented his dominance inside the Octagon with a fast submission victory over Kevin Holland. But whilst he added another win to his unblemished record, the result was clouded over by a sizable weight miss that saw his planned headliner with Nate Diaz fall through.

With that, much of the post-event discussion has surrounded the Chechen-born Swede’s next step and, in particular, which weight it will come at.

As well as UFC President Dana White hinting towards favoring a middleweight switch, Chimaev’s coach admitted that bouts at 185 pounds are inevitable moving forward.

With that in mind, many have pondered possible matchups for “Borz” at the higher weight, where he knocked Gerald Meerschaert out in 17 seconds two years ago. While a clash with Paulo Costa has come up owing to their recent UFC PI altercation, Whittaker’s name has also been mentioned.

But although “The Reaper” cemented his spot as the clear second-best middleweight at UFC Paris earlier this month, meaning a victory over him would practically guarantee a shot at Israel Adesanya‘s gold, Chimaev isn’t keen.

“I like that guy. I don’t wanna fight good guys,” Chimaev said at the UFC 279 post-fight press conference. “I need some bad guys, so I wanna fight some bad guys.”

Cejudo To Chimaev: ‘You’ve Gotta Put Everyone On Your Hit List’

During a recent interview with Helen Yee, 2008 Olympic gold medalist and former simultaneous UFC double champion Henry Cejudo assessed the eventful UFC 279 fight week, suggesting that it would make sense for Chimaev to appear at 185 pounds.

With that in mind, “Triple C” named former champion Whittaker as the perfect opponent.

“I think if he really wants a title shot with Israel, he needs to fight Robert Whittaker,” Cejudo said. “If you watch Robert Whittaker, that’s the best way of getting to the 185-pound title.”

When his attention was brought to Chimaev’s remarks about a potential date in the cage with the Australian contender, Cejudo admitted that he wasn’t a fan of the #3-ranked welterweight’s stance.

According to the former bantamweight and flyweight king, “Borz” should be ready and willing to target whoever it takes for him to ascend to the top.

“It’s not that he likes him, it’s that he respects him. When someone doesn’t wanna fight, he doesn’t wanna fight because he respects you that much… I didn’t like that about Chimaev, that he said that about Robert,” Cejudo said. “Because, like, you’re gonna have to fight him eventually? You probably don’t even know the dude. So, you have to put everybody on your damn hit list, all of them.”

Chimaev has consistently expressed his desire to dethrone Adesanya. While he’d hoped to reach the top of the welterweight division first, should he be forced to target the middleweight gold, it stands to reason that a collision with Whittaker could become inevitable.

Do you agree with Henry Cejudo? Was Khamzat Chimaev wrong to dismiss the idea of a clash with Robert Whittaker?

Related Articles