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Morning Report: Khamzat Chimaev’s coach wants return at middleweight, ‘amazing fight’ with Alex Pereira

UFC 279: Chimaev v Holland
Khamzat Chimaev
Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

Khamzat Chimaev is ready to get back in the octagon.

Options await one of the biggest stars in MMA at present. Since the disastrous shakeup caused by his drastic UFC 279 weight miss in September, Chimaev has been questioned regarding his next fight coming at either welterweight or middleweight. “Borz” has established himself as a force at 170 pounds and is currently the No. 3-ranked contender in the promotion’s official rankings. After missing weight by seven-and-a-half pounds, however, his ability to comfortably make the weight limit is now in question until he does so.

That leaves the 185-pound middleweight division as an easy solution. Chimaev has fought north of welterweight on numerous occasions in his 12-fight career. The only problem at this juncture is that his demands have reached a ceiling thanks to his top contender status. Recently documenting a trip to Dubai on his YouTube channel, Chimaev and his coach Andreas Michael discussed the hopes going forward.

“They wanna know. When is ‘Wolf’ coming?” Chimaev said. “They want to know. Andreas Michael, what do you think about training camp in Dubai?”

“We’re having a good camp here and we’re gonna do it again. We’re going to go to heavyweight,” Michael joked. “Middleweight [is where I really want to see him next]. For the belt. I would like that. That’s an amazing fight [with Alex Pereira]. We can fight at [welterweight] no problem. It’s no problem at all. It’s just good preparation and good warning for if we’re gonna go drop down in weight then we need time and it’s done. Not this five weeks or four weeks preparation thing because it’s not doable in that time.”

As soon as Brazil’s Pereira captured the middleweight title against Israel Adesanya this past November, Chimaev took to social media to express his interest in the fight. Even with his knockout of Sean Strickland in July to earn the shot, Pereira found himself on Chimaev’s radar.

Unfortunately for the dominant 28-year-old wrestler, Chimaev presumably needs to get at least one top victory over a ranked middleweight while Pereira and Adesanya likely rematch in the meantime. Should Chimaev officially return to 185 pounds, he and his team are fully confident there shouldn’t be any weight issues.

“Right now he’s like [196 pounds]. He can make weight like tomorrow. [Middleweight], it’s no problem. Even if everyone thinks that he’s [300 pounds now],” Michael laughed.


TOP STORIES

Awards. MMA Fighting’s 2022 Fighter of the Year: Alex Pereira

Ready. Khamzat Chimaev growing frustrated with lack of opponents: “Nobody wants to fight … f*** these boys.”

Critique. Anthony Smith blasts MMA judging: “We need people that know what the f*** they’re looking at.”

Compassion. Stephen Thompson: “Smart call” for Kevin Holland’s corner to throw in the towel at UFC Orlando.

Motivation. Santiago Ponzinibbio reveals what coaches said to get him fired up for third-round knockout over Alex Morono.

Matchmaking. Drew Dober happy to fight Jalin Turner, Paddy Pimblett: “I’m notorious for killing hypes.”

Trouble. Jeff Molina placed on suspension by Nevada Athletic Commission.


VIDEO STEW

UFC KOs of 2022.

Free fight.

Chael breaks down the RIZIN 40 main card.

Cooking with Volk.

Khamzat vlog.

CKB with the fans.


SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE

Classics.

Opportunity.

It just won’t end.

No bias detected.

Justin McCully!

Seriously.

Learn.

Soo Chul Kim is ready.

Redemption year.

Tracy opens up.


FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENTS

Namiko “Hime” Kawabata (4-1) vs. Machi Fukuda (1-0); DEEP JEWELS 40, Feb. 18

Hikaru Aono (8-6) vs. Kate “Lotus” Oyama (3-4); DEEP JEWELS 40, Feb. 18

Sean Brady (15-1) vs. Michel Pereira (28-11, 2 NC); UFC San Antonio, March 25


FINAL THOUGHTS

I’m fine with Chimaev continuing in either division, but the time is totally now to pull the trigger on Robert Whittaker vs. Chimaev.

I hope everyone had a great and safe holiday weekend. Now we’re onto New Year’s weekend and RIZIN 40 fight week. Thanks for reading!


POLL POSITION

Last Week’s Results:

Friday: 61% of 506 total voters answered “No” when asked, “Is Alexander Volkanovski’s only hope to prevent the takedown against Islam Makhachev?” Volkanovski challenges Makhachev for the UFC lightweight title in UFC 284’s main event on Feb. 11.

Thursday: 85% of 570 total voters answered “Yes” when asked, “Does Ben Askren have a point about Jiri Prochazka being able to sue USADA?” Prochazka has been by far the most-tested UFC fighter in 2022.

Wednesday: 41% of 703 total votes answered “Beneil Dariush” when asked, “Who is Islam Makhachev’s toughest challenge out of the official UFC lightweight top 15?

Tuesday: 40% of 725 total votes answered “Equally as difficult” when asked, “Who is a worse matchup between Aljamain Sterling and Henry Cejuo for Sean O’Malley?

Monday: 67% of 497 total votes answered “Jared Cannonier” when asked, “Who should have won UFC Vegas 66’s main event?” Cannonier defeated Strickland via a split decision.

Today’s exit poll:

Poll

Which division do you want to see Khamzat Chimaev fight in next?

This poll is closed

  • 31%
    Welterweight
    (159 votes)
  • 68%
    Middleweight
    (339 votes)
498 votes total Vote Now

If you find something you’d like to see in the Morning Report, hit up @DrakeRiggs_ on Twitter and let him know about it. Also, follow MMAFighting on Instagram and like us on Facebook.

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