UFC president Dana White explained why Khamzat Chimaev has been booked for two fights at once, saying quite simply that “it’s fun.”
White recently revealed that Chimaev, a super prospect who many say is a future UFC champion, will fight Gerald Meerschart on September 19 in Las Vegas in a middleweight fight. Chimaev is then expected to fight welterweight veteran Demian Maia a few weeks later. It is rare for a fighter to be booked for two fights at once, which has led some fans and media scratching their heads. As well, Meerscahert called the move “disrespectful.”
“The thing is, the guy wants to keep fighting. He wants all these fights back-to-back. It’s no disrespect to his opponent. He’s either going to win or lose. That has nothing to do with us, that’s up to them. But to do that, for him to fight two fights in a row, you have to book him. And for a guy like him — I would never do that for someone else. I would be like, ‘Relax, let’s see if you get through this fight.’ But what I’ve seen from him, I’m willing to do that for him,” White said.
The UFC president was then asked if Chimaev plans on fighting at both middleweight and welterweight simultaneously going forward. White said he’s open to it, saying it’s possible that Chimaev could make a run up the 170lbs and 185lbs ranking at the same time.
“It’s fascinating, you know? We never really had anyone that’s doing what he is right now. So I can see why you’re saying, ‘Don’t you think it’s disrespectful booking a fight for him when he has a fight?’ But that’s how you have to do it. It’s interesting, I like it, I’ve never really had a guy like this. It’s interesting, it’s fun. I’ll play this game with him, you know? After what I saw in his first two fights — he fought two real guys, man. He didn’t fight chumps, this isn’t a guy who blew through a couple of set-up fights. He blew through real people, man. I’m gonna see how it plays out.”
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