Khamzat Chimaev says he likes Robert Whittaker but will “have to smash” him

Khamzat-Chimaev, Dana White

Khamzat Chimaev is a scary guy who is clearly gunning for as many big fights as he can get his hands on. He’s currently in Abu Dhabi, and has his sights trained on the on the co-main event: a middleweight fight between Robert Whittaker vs .Jared Cannonier.

“If somebody’s injured, i’ll jump in,” Chimaev told the  UFC’s Dan Hardy.

“Robert Whittaker, he will be good fight for me,” Chimaev added. “He was ex-champion. I like this guy, but I will have to smash this guy. We will see.’

The 26-year-old Chimaev had a storming start to his career so far. He’s finished all nine of his professional fights and earned performance of the night bonuses in each of his first three outings in the UFC. Since arriving in the promotion he’s been absolutely prolific, seeing off John Phillips, Rees McKee and Gerald Meerschaert in the space of just over two months.

The rising star has recently been linked to fighting the likes of Neil Magny, Damien Maia, Stephen Thompson as well as others and again made it clear that he’s ready to take on all comers.

“I said to Dana White, just give me somebody. Now they say ‘this guy’s not top 10, not top 5. Okay Brother. Sometimes they say ‘nobody knows (him).

“Everybody talks about me. How can you say ‘nobody knows Khamzat?’ I think everybody’s scared. Everybody.”

Whittaker is one fighter that certainly recognizes Chimaev’s ability.

“It’s unreal,” the former champ said when asked about Chimaev in July. “He just destroyed his opponents twice in two weeks. Gotta give it to him. That guy’s a savage. And his dedication to just staying on weight. Fighting someone bigger then going down to welterweight and fight someone. You’ve gotta give it to him – they don’t make ’em like that anymore.

“He’s a welterweight and I hope he stays there,” Whittaker added.

The Aussie was speaking in the wake of his win over Darren Till. Incidentally, Chimaev moved back up to middleweight soon afterwards and knocked out Meerschaert in just 17 seconds.

There is a debate over just how good Khamzat Chimaev is, but it’s quite clear that he’s a serious talent and ready for a bigger test. Who would you most like to see him fight next?