Khamzat Chimaev once declined Khabib Nurmagomedov comparison, wanting to be dubbed Mike Tyson

Khamzat Chimaev, one of the most recognized UFC fighters, recently changed his allegiance to the United Arab Emirates. Chimaev, who was Chechen-born, emigrated to Sweden when he was 18 years old. The Wrestler began to train in MMA at age 23.

Chimaev has been compared to many legends of combat sports due to the dominating fashion of his wins in MMA. The undefeated fighter has been compared to the likes of Khabib Nurmagomedov and Mike Tyson to name a few. He may or may not have liked the comparison.

Khamzat Chimaev once rejected Khabib Nurmagomedov comparison

Khamzat Chimaev rose to prominence in the UFC after a string of performances that earned him Performance of the Night bonuses. He fought John Phillips and Rhys McKee 10 days apart across two weight divisions at Yas Island, Abu Dhabi earning wide attention. Moreover, his relationship with the controversial Chechen dictator, Ramzan Kadyrov brought him even more notoriety.

The brutal grappling-oriented ground-and-pound victories earned him a comparison with the then-UFC lightweight champion, Khabib Nurmagomedov. However, he showcased yet another dimension to his game in his first fight in the USA. At UFC Fight Night: Covington vs. Woodley, Chimaev knocked out Geral Meerschaert in 17 seconds of the fight.

“Now they have to call me like, this is Mike Tyson”, Chimaev told in his post-fight interview with ESPN MMA’s Brett Okamoto. The win over Meerschaert earned his third consecutive Performance of the Night bonus and it was also the fastest three-fight win streak in the modern era of the UFC, in 66 days. Khamzat Chimaev thus earned the moniker of ‘The Boogeyman’ of the division.

“It doesn’t matter to me, how this going”, Chimaev further added citing that comparisons don’t matter to him and he is only interested in keeping his winning streak intact.

The fight against Meerschaert was his last appearance on a UFC Fight Night as his subsequent fights were on UFC PPVs. He fought at UFC 267, UFC 273, UFC 279, and UFC 294 winning all against Li Jingliang, Gilbert Burns, Kevin Holland, and Kamaru Usman respectively.

When is Khamzat Chimaev fighting next?

Khamzat Chimaev’s most recent fight was against former long-reigning welterweight champion and two-time title challenger Kamaru Usman in the co-main event of UFC 294. Chimaev was originally slated to fight Paulo Costa but the Brazilian suffered a staph infection that forced his withdrawal from the event.

Costa’s withdrawal from the event was a massive let-down for the UFC as one-half of the main event including Charles Oliveira had to withdraw from the event.

Usman was brought in as a 10-day short-notice replacement for the event. Incidentally, the main event of UFC 294 also had a 12-day short notice replacement in Alexander Volkanovski to face Islam Makhachev after Charles Oliveira faced a nasty cut during sparring.

Adding more intrigue to the Usman vs Chimaev matchup, UFC CEO Dana White stated that the fight is a middleweight title eliminator with the winner taking on Sean Strickland for the UFC middleweight title. Chimaev would win the fight via majority decision but would injure his right hand which was later revealed to be due to torn ligaments.

Strickland is the new UFC middleweight champion after his masterclass performance over long-reigning champion Israel Adesanya at UFC 293 in Australia. However, Dana White recently announced via his social media channels that Strickland will be defending his title against 2nd ranked UFC middleweight Dricus Du Plessis at UFC 297 in Vancouver, Canada, in what will be the promotion’s first PPV of 2024.

Chimaev’s injury requires 4 weeks of complete rest and there are plenty of options for his next fight on his return. Many have called for a rematch with Usman citing the fact that Usman almost won the fight with Khamzat Chimaev. Other potential opponents include a fight against Robert Whitaker, the former middleweight champion, and Jared Cannonier, a former title challenger.

Dricus Du Plessis in a recent interview with James Lynch cited his plan of defending his title against Khamzat Chimaev after a victory over Strickland at UFC 297. Interestingly, Chimaev called out for a fight with the new UFC light heavyweight champion Alex Pereira in a recent social media callout. Pereira won the vacant light heavyweight title against former champion Jiri Prochazka at UFC 295.

Will Khamzat Chimaev be fighting for the UFC middleweight championship in his next bout? If not, who will be his opponent in his next bout? Leave your comments below!

Aramis

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A free spirited human being with a passion for combat sports.

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