Khamzat Chimaev has reached rarified air as a UFC superstar.
Few fighters in MMA history have burst onto the scene in the fashion and speed of Chimaev. After dominating his opposition in an unheard-of manner in 2020, “Borz” was thrown to the upper echelon of the welterweight division and now finds himself firmly planted as a top contender.
Recent weight issues canceled Chimaev’s high-profile clash with long-time star Nate Diaz this past September, but for the right opportunity, a welterweight return could be in the cards. Timing-wise, things are looking good for UFC’s biggest names in 2023 as many are getting back to work, including Conor McGregor. Chimaev’s coach Andreas Michael believes a matchup between the two would be about as big as it gets.
“That is a megafight,” Michael told Submission Radio. “At the end of the day, it’s not me that’s making weight. If Khamzat feels that he wants to go down to welterweight, I believe that he can do it. He can do whatever he wants. If you put your mind to it, you can do whatever you want. Piece of cake.
“It would be a blockbuster. It would be an amazing fight, box office hit pay-per-view. That is — what a fight that would be, wow.”
Before any possible talks of Chimaev vs. McGregor, the Irishman will first have to get through The Ultimate Fighter 31 as a coach opposite Michael Chandler. McGregor and Chandler are then expected to fight sometime after the season’s conclusion later this year at a weight yet to be determined — likely at 155 or 170 pounds.
Chimaev, on the other hand, continues his search for what’s next after dominating Kevin Holland in his shake-up bout after his September weight shenanigans. Middleweight appears to be the next stop for Chimaev in the octagon, but he’ll first focus on Ramadan. Michael ideally wants a title fight for his protege, but a top contender is the most realistic option at the very least.
“We were getting ready for [Alex] Pereira, but that fell out, so everyone’s calling out Khamzat,” Michael said. “I know he’s probably the money fight now. So, we don’t take a lot of that serious. Because if the top dogs took all the callouts seriously then he has to make sense. You only have a certain amount of fights in you in your whole lifetime. So, make them count.
“He’s not at that stage now where he’s just going to show that he’s tough and take on people that don’t pay you forward. They just keep you stagnating. We all respect everyone, it’s just that things need to make sense.”
Champions. Daniel Cormier says Islam Makhachev and Alexander Volkanovski have ‘work to do’ before an immediate rematch
Prediction. Conor McGregor has no issues with Michael Chandler, but ‘I’m just going to slice through him’
Status. Yair Rodriguez on UFC possibly booking Makhachev vs. Volkanovski 2: ‘That would make me the undisputed champion’
Pranks. Todd Duffee on the viral fake Gian Villante fight that fooled the internet — and why it should’ve happened
Confidence. Alan Belcher welcomes bare-knuckle fight with Francis Ngannou: ‘I’m coming to knock you out’
Goals. KSI will leave boxing after beating ‘fraud’ Jake Paul, targeting ‘winner takes all fight’ at the end of 2023
Please. John Lineker requests Fabricio Andrade not to hit him in groin for ONE title rematch
Between the Links.
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UFC Vegas 70 promo.
Tatiana Suarez’s TUF win.
PFL Challenger Series weigh-in recap.
Volk breaks down Rodriguez vs. Emmett.
Heck of a Morning. MMA Fighting’s Mike Heck discusses if Dustin Poirier will get the next title shot against Islam Makhachev.
SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE
"what's the weather like outside?" pic.twitter.com/kBfxB1SXL3— Conner Burks (@connerburks) February 23, 2023
I don’t want ONE SINGLE PERSON to ask me for tickets to a fight ever again, I’m saying no and I don’t care.— Brookliyn Wren (@helloBROOKLIYN) February 23, 2023
Everyone assumes they’re the only people asking, and I literally have people on my phone every single day asking me for tickets to every fight, ESPECIALLY the ppv’s.— Brookliyn Wren (@helloBROOKLIYN) February 23, 2023
He left no stone unturned. Literally. Raw power or outstanding skills though?— Red Corner MMA (@RedCorner_MMA) February 23, 2023
Dana's face reacting to the "Power Slap" views going down— No Context Ariel Helwani (@NoContextAriel) February 23, 2023
Episode 2: 2.7m views
Episode 3: 824k views
Episode 4: 538k views
Episode 5: 149k views pic.twitter.com/Ogl3QiO9uV
Las Vegas— 朝倉 海 Kai Asakura (@kai_1031_) February 23, 2023
Not gonna lie, that bout order is completely fucked. One of the best cards of the year and I get bounced from the main card for a child? I fought on short notice. Have take on whoever and gone 4-1 to get ranked and I get bounced for a kid with one fight? Yeah I'm salty as fuck https://t.co/K9tgnZ28Jl— Chris Curtis The Action Man (@Actionman513) February 23, 2023
When you want to use the weigh-ins to send a message, but your opponent doesn't get the memo. #BKFC36 pic.twitter.com/cuyi1Je3Kk— MyMMANews (@MyMMANews) February 24, 2023
Great pace today!! Let's go @gamer_mma pic.twitter.com/nF7cLXU8iB— The Diamond (@DustinPoirier) February 23, 2023
Nails on point.
Mariya Agapova has started to tattoo to earn money while she is not fighting.— MMA mania (@mmamania) February 24, 2023
She reveals she has been living without sponsors for two years. pic.twitter.com/AM6tDHIHH8
Sedriques Dumas (7-0) vs. Josh Fremd (9-4); UFC Las Vegas, March 11
Gunnar Nelson (18-5-1) vs. Bryan Barberena (18-9); UFC 286, March 18
Emi Fujino (26-13, 1 NC) vs. Edna Oliveira (10-11-1); Pancrase 332, March 26
Cody Stamann (21-5-1) vs. Douglas Silva de Andrade (28-5, 1 NC); UFC Fight Night, May 13
Abdul Razak Alhassan (12-5) vs. Brunno Ferreira (10-0); UFC Fight Night, May 20
I honestly thought it would have been a genius move for the UFC to capitalize on something as absurd as Chimaev vs. McGregor right after Chimaev got off to his red-hot start in the promotion. We all know how it ends, especially now, but at that time there were still enough big question marks along with the incredible hype to make it pretty damn compelling. Timing is everything though, and I think if there was any timing for that one, it’s definitely passed.
Happy Friday, gang. Thanks for reading and enjoy this loaded MMA weekend.
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