Khamzat Chimaev has been promoted to headliner status.
At the presser for UFC 253 on Thursday, UFC President Dana White announced that Chimaev will headline an event when the promotion returns to Las Vegas after its upcoming five-event return to Fight Island. According to White, the five-round bout will be against a ranked opponent who White didn’t name yet:
Dana White announces @KChimaev's next UFC fight will be a main event vs. a ranked opponent. Any guesses?!?
The 26-year old Russian born Swedish fighter has become a household name after only three months in the UFC. He has made “smash” one of the favorite words in the sport today, referring to his manner of beating his opponents inside the cage.
Chimaev has literally smashed his way to prominence.
He made history last July when he won two UFC bouts in a span of 10 days. That feat set the record for the shortest period between two wins in the modern-day era and it was even more impressive because he fought in two different weight classes.
Last week, Chimaev returned to the octagon at UFC Vegas 11 where he smashed former RFA middleweight champion Gerald Meerschaert in just 17 seconds. Chimaev has been so dominant in his three UFC bouts that he’s absorbed only one significant strike in three bouts.
High-Risk, Low Reward Opponent
Chimaev has been tabbed as a heavy betting favorite in a possible fight with Demian Maia. The Brazilian grappling legend was the name that emerged when Chimaev was “double-booked” by Dana White earlier this month. Borz held up his end of the deal, taking care of business against Gerald Meerschaert last weekend. Maia was supposed to be next, but we don’t have that confirmation until now.
On Wednesday, Chimaev claimed on Twitter (he has deleted his tweets, but he can’t delete these quotes) that no ranked opponent wants to fight him. He even called out the 6th ranked Maia to tell the Brazilian that he wants to test his grappling with the best:
“We talk with Ufc nobody in top 10 not schedule want to fight with me @Damianmaia I respect you I want to test myself and my Grappling against Legend like you @danawhite”
That same day, Chimaev also targeted 5th ranked Stephen Thompson, telling Wonderboy to leave Leon Edwards alone:
“We fighting next lets go leave Leon alone.”
So far we haven’t heard any reply from either Maia or Thompson but it’s hard to blame both. Chimaev isn’t ranked yet in the welterweight division ( even at middleweight) so Maia and Wonderboy would gain nothing from fighting Chimaev. So why risk their lofty rankings against a high-risk, no-reward opponent?
Desperate For a Fight
After targeting Edwards and Thompson, Chimaev went to social media once again on Thursday to say that he wants to “smash the Burger King”, referring to Conor McGregor:
“I want to smash the burger king guy easy money.”
But McGregor may not be fighting anytime soon, if at all. It can be recalled that The Notorious announced his retirement last June. However, that was not the first time that McGregor retired and he is still on the promotion’s active roster as evidenced by the recent USADA visit prior to his controversial case in France. The Irishman also has legal issues to settle before he can think about fighting again if that’s what he desires.
Chimaev has called out almost everyone in the UFC’s roster. He’s also gotten into a verbal beef with UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya who will be fighting this weekend at UFC 253. A couple of days ago, Borz said he would finish both Adesanya and welterweight Kamaru Usman.
It seems that Chimaev is desperate for a fight. The youngster wants to stay busy and there’s nothing wrong with that. However, he’s been talking about the moon and the stars. It might be best if he takes it one step at a time. Sometimes a meteoric rise ends in a hard fall. Nobody wants that ending.
Steve Richardson started writing content online in 2013 and has yet to slow down. Since joining our team at GamblingSites.org, he has covered sports, casino news, gambling laws, and much more! ...
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