Dana White believes fight fans will get to see Khamzat Chimaev compete for a UFC title eventually, but it won’t be in his next fight.
Chimaev (10-0 MMA) made his highly anticipated return to the Octagon at last weekend’s UFC 267 event in Abu Dhabi for a welterweight bout with Li Jingliang. The contest was Khamzat’s first since September of 2020, where he had scored a sensational 18-second knockout win over Gerald Meerschaert (see that here).
As for Li Jingliang (18-7 MMA), ‘The Leech’ had entered UFC 267 looking to build off the momentum of his incredible knockout of Santiago Ponzinibbio from back in January.
Last Saturday’s Chimaev vs Jingliang matchup proved to be a quick and very one-sided affair. ‘Borz’ was able to score an early takedown and immediately began talking to UFC President Dana White while battering his opponent from top position. Khamzat Chimaev would eventually transition to the back of Li, where he locked-in a rear-naked choke which put Jingliang to sleep.
Following his fourth straight incredible showing under the UFC banner, many fans and analysts were clamoring for Chimaev to receive a title shot.
However, according to Dana White, ‘Borz’ is still one or two fights away from such an opportunity.
“I don’t know if Chimaev is ready for that yet. (a title shot) Chimaev just broke into the top ten by fighting number eleven.” White said (h/t MMANews). “It’s a whole ‘nother ball game when you get into the top ten, and you start fighting five and up. He’s one or two fights away from a championship.”
The UFC boss has hinted that he would like to book Khamzat Chimaev against Nate Diaz next, but the ‘Stockton Slugger’ appears to have other ideas.
Who would you like to see Chimaev fight next? Share your thoughts in the comment section PENN Nation!