Khamzat Chimaev is still hoping his next fight will be booked in March, but apparently he can’t seem to find an opponent.
The undefeated Chechen, who is coming off a first-round submission win over Kevin Holland, recently took a trip to Dubai to start his training camp for a fight that still hasn’t been booked yet. While he’s open to competing at either middleweight or welterweight, Chimaev says numerous opponents have turned him down already, which has only made him angrier as he continues to wait for a new bout agreement to be sent his way.
“Nobody wants to fight,” Chimaev said in a video blog he posted. “F*** these boys. They gave me four different countries, four different opponents. Nobody wants to fight.”
Most recently, UFC president Dana White said he liked the idea of Chimaev facing two-time welterweight title challenger Colby Covington, but it doesn’t appear that matchup is anywhere near completion.
“I’m going to fight somebody,” Chimaev said. “I don’t know who. They change opponents all the time. Every week I have a new opponent, but nobody wants to fight.
“The guys trash talk loud about me and ‘I want to fight you, I want to fight you!’ When it comes to the fight and signing the contract, they want to run away.”
The fight with Covington would obviously take place at welterweight, but Chimaev certainly isn’t opposed to matchups at 185 pounds either.
In fact, Chimaev already called for a future showdown with reigning middleweight king and MMA Fighting’s 2022 Fighter of the Year Alex Pereira, who claimed the title with a stunning fifth-round knockout over Israel Adesanya in November.
Chimaev may think much about Pereira or his résumé, but it remains to be seen if the UFC would actually consider him for a title shot without first going through a top-10 ranked middleweight.
“I’m next for the title,” Chimaev said. “Who are these guys going to fight? Alex Pereira has a 6-1 record. He lost. I’ve never lost in my life. He lost to a s*** guy, the guy’s not in the UFC as well.
“UFC don’t want it, the guy don’t want it, what am I going to do? I just want to fight. Give me somebody. If the guys run away from me, just give me somebody. I’m ready.”
With cards already filling up quickly for the first quarter of 2023, Chimaev just hopes somebody steps up to the challenge so he can make use of all the hard work he’s doing to stay prepared for whatever comes next.
“I’m always ready,” Chimaev said. “We’re going to see what’s going to happen now. I think we’ll hope so for Vegas in March, we’ll see, but I don’t know who [I’m fighting].”