It’s not everyday that a freestyle wrestling match happens inside a cage, but that’s exactly the venue where UFC up-and-comer Khamzat Chimaev took on veteran middleweight Jack Hermansson at Bulldog Fight Night in Sweden.
Chimaev, who started wrestling at just 5 years old, was quick to set the tone after breaking out of the initial collar tie, landing a huge throw that sent Hermansson crashing to the canvas.
The four-point throw set the tone for Chimaev, who then scored another takedown with a reversal and a go-behind after Hermansson tried to get in deep on a single-leg attempt.
To his credit, Hermansson did work for a throw of his own and he nearly had Chimaev turned before “Borz” reversed him and ended up on top.
As the match continued into the second period, Hermansson was actually a little more offense minded but every attempt he made to score at takedown on Chimaev was thwarted, although he definitely had his moments. With seconds ticking away, Hermansson did dive into another single-leg attempt but Chimaev showed great hip strength sprawling out and staying away in order to never allow the takedown.
The final score in the match was 8-0 for Chimaev, who earned all of his points in the opening round and came just two points shy of stopping the match with a technical fall.
Though he’s currently competing as a welterweight in the UFC, Chimaev actually looked like the larger athlete when standing next to Hermansson as well as during the grappling exchanges on the mat.
The two fighters were all smiles afterwards, as the match appeared to be fun for both of them, but Chimaev still walked away as the winner.
Since joining the UFC roster, Chimaev has been one of the most hyped fighters in the sport. He most recently dispatched Li Jingliang to move his record to 4-0 inside the octagon and has been anxiously awaiting word on his next fight, which will now likely take place in early 2022.