Considering the incredibly busy schedule the undefeated Russian has put together after just making his debut in July, it won’t be long before he’s rivaling veteran Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone, who’s built his career around a philosophy of fighting any time, any place and against anyone.
Chimaev previously called out Cerrone following one of his wins on UFC Fight Island, and it’s a matchup he’s still interested in taking after his next fight against Gerald Meerschaert on Saturday night.
“Nobody tell me I’m going to fight with this guy, but I love this guy,” Chimaev said about Cerrone during the UFC Vegas 11 virtual media day. “He’s one of the best fighters, he’s been like [one of the best]. Now I don’t know how he’s like [as a] fighter but he’s a veteran in MMA.”
Cerrone, who looks to break a four-fight skid this weekend with his co-main event fight against Niko Price, didn’t pay too much attention to Chimaev calling him out. But he’s never been one to shy away from any opponent.
Considering the reputation he’s built over the years, Cerrone isn’t looking to turn anybody down so if Chimaev wants to rumble, he’s more than happy to accept.
“I actually just ran into him in the hallway,” Cerrone said when addressing Chimaev. “But yeah, sure, I don’t care. It’s whatever they want. I’m down to fight anyone, any time.
“It doesn’t make a difference to me. Absolutely. He wins, I win, sure thing.”
Cerrone’s willingness to fight anybody is probably part of the reason Chimaev respects him so much, especially as he looks to build a similar resume in the UFC.
There appears to be nothing but respect shared between the two fighters. But as much as Chimaev likes Cerrone, that won’t stop him from trying to hammer “Cowboy” through the canvas should they fight.
“I like this guy but I want to smash this guy,” Chimaev said. “Because he has a good name. He’s one of the superstars in the UFC. We will see if it happens. I will be happy.”