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Dana White undecided on Khamzat Chimaev’s future weight class, Chimaev targets Colby Covington

Khamzat Chimaev’s future is considerably murkier after UFC 279.

Though Chimaev scored another dominant victory at the September pay-per-view, his egregious weight miss forced him out of a main event bout against Nate Diaz and caused a reshuffling of the top three fights on the card. Chimaev weighed in at 178.5 pounds for a scheduled welterweight bout, 7.5 pounds over the limit, and was eventually moved into a co-main event catchweight bout opposite Kevin Holland.

Following the season finale of the Contender Series on Tuesday, UFC President Dana White was asked what the promotion’s plans are for Chimaev and he replied that the two-division threat’s future is still in flux.

“There’s obviously 170 and 185 pounds, there was a big beef today at matchmaking whether he can make 170 pounds, whether we should even let him make 170 pounds again,” White said. “Those are all the things that we’re kicking around right now.”

Since debuting with the UFC in July 2020, Chimaev has been one of MMA’s most intriguing contenders as he has plowed through the competition at both welterweight and middleweight. His biggest test came against Gilbert Burns at UFC 273 this past April, where Chimaev scored a unanimous decision win over the top 5 welterweight contender in a Fight of the Year candidate.

White has no preference for where Chimaev fights next, he just wants to know what plan Chimaev has for himself.

“I’m in the middle,” White said. “What does he want to do? Where does he want to be and what does he want to do? Does he want to make 170 and go for the title at 170 or does he want to go to 185 and go for the title there?”

“That was the big debate we had today in the matchmaking meeting,” White later added. “One guy said one thing, one guy said another thing. Then I said, what does he really want? Somebody get in there and figure out what he really wants to do and let’s figure out and let’s make a fight.”

One option that’s off the table? Blue-chip prospect Bo Nickal. The three-time Division-I national wrestling champion secured his spot in the UFC with another dominant win on the Contender Series on Tuesday and called out Chimaev afterwards. White was quick to shoot that suggestion down.

“Let’s not get crazy here,” White said.

For Chimaev’s part, it sounds like he intends to stay at 170 pounds. On Thursday, he tweeted that he wants to fight two-time UFC title challenger Colby Covington next.

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