Alex Oliveira would love to get his hands on rising sensation Khamzat Chimaev after he’s done with fellow undefeated talent Shavkat Rakhmonov at UFC 254, which takes place Saturday in Abu Dhabi, but won’t insist on the callout.
The Brazilian welterweight spoke with MMA Fighting ahead of the Fight Island show, where here pursues his third victory this year, and explains why he has a problem with Chimaev even though he wishes him luck in his MMA career.
“This guy talked too much, asked for a bunch of names, this and that,” Oliveira said, “But I asked for him and he said ‘No,’ and now he wants guys ranked at the top? So let him get those guys. I hope he gets lucky because if he fights them and gets beat up, I won’t agree to fight him then. I’ll keep him waiting.”
The UFC is still working on getting an opponent for Chimaev after he demolished John Phillips, Rhys McKee and Gerald Meerschaert between July and September. Oliveira claims that “Borz” turned him down, and has a theory as to why.
“I don’t know, man, I guess I could be the underdog standing on his way,” Oliveira said. “I’m not afraid of a fight, man. I’d make him work. … Last time we were here (in Abu Dhabi), we were on the elevator going to the weigh-ins and he gave me a look that wasn’t nice. He’s already too cocky — that’s until someone kicks his ass and puts him back in his place. He talks too much.
“I hope God helps him get where he wants, but he still has a lot of work to do. He can’t get to the quarry and go straight for the big rocks. He has to work his way up, break his rocks first. He wants to get here and talk his way up but when I ask for him he says no. If he really wanted to fight anyone he would have fought me, but he ran away? Let it be. He’ll get beat up at the top and will come back here looking for a fight and I won’t take it.”
Chimaev is expected to headline an event in December, and former middleweight champion Chris Weidman volunteered to fight him next in January.
This guy Chimeav needs some humbling would love to do that. January I'm in! @ufc make this happen.— Chris Weidman (@chrisweidman) October 16, 2020
Oliveira agrees with Weidman — and hopes the undefeated Russian is prepared for “his downfall.”
“The downfall is hard when one is so full of themselves, brother, and his downfall will be something,” Oliveira said. “He doesn’t want his downfall to be against me. He knows I can kick his ass. I’m not a one-round fighter, I’m a three-round fighter. Cardio, strikes. He wants none of it right now. Let him get hyped up by everybody. I hope he’s mentally prepared when his downfall comes because that messes with a fighter’s head.
“Not everybody is afraid and runs away from him. Maybe people don’t fight him because he just talks too much. That’s it.”