Following his dominant first-round submission win over Kevin Holland at UFC 279, Chimaev was asked about his thoughts on a potential fight with Whittaker if he were to move up to middleweight. “Borz” said that he likes Whittaker and would like to train with him rather than compete against him, mostly because the former middleweight champion hasn’t said anything bad about him, and would prefer to fight those Chimaev feels has talked trash about him.
“I heard what Khamzat said about wanting to fight bad guys and I can get behind that,” Whittaker said. “If he wants to train together, I want to train together and we can go hunt bad guys together.
“I think it will be a lot of fun, and we can run a muck on a lot of people.”
Chimaev was the talk of UFC 279 fight week for his role in a backstage ruckus that led to the cancellation of the event’s pre-fight press conference, then badly missed weight by 7.5 pounds for his scheduled main event with Nate Diaz which forced the UFC to shuffle the top-three fights around.
Whittaker is coming off of a tremendous showing in a unanimous decision win over Marvin Vettori in the co-main event of UFC Paris earlier this month, and is hoping his next fight can be against the winner of the UFC 281 title fight between Israel Adesanya — who has two wins over Whittkaer — and Alex Pereira.
When asked who he would like to see Chimaev face should his next fight be at 185, Whittaker had a couple of names in mind.
“It’s hard, but I think stylistically he handles a lot of the guys in the division,” Whittaker explained. “I would actually love to see Chimaev fight Pereira. I think that’s a great fight for him, and I think it will open the eyes to see what Pereira can do.
“I’d like to see Chimaev fight Israel, just because, stylistically, there are so many different variables in play that it makes it interesting for me. Plus, I’ll be able to sic my new friend Chimaev on two guys that I want to beat up.”
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