UFC middleweight veteran Gerald Meerschaert says it is “disrespectful” that Khamzat Chimaev already has a fight against Demian Maia set up.
When asked last week what is next for Chimaev, the star of the UFC’s Fight Island experience in July, UFC president Dana White said the promotion has a unique plan for the Swedish prospect. White said the promotion hopes to book Chimaev against top-10 welterweight contender Demian Maia on Fight Island in October, but before that happens he already has a fight booked against Meerschaert on September 19 in Las Vegas.
Speaking to “The Bash” podcast, Meerschaert was asked about the UFC’s double-booking plans for Chimaev, and the veteran middleweight didn’t hold back, calling it “disrespectful.”
— The Bash MMA (@TheBashMMA) September 8, 2020
“Yeah, I keep saying it every time someone asks me. I find it disrespectful. I find it disrespectful that the promotion can just line this up and put it out there in public. And I think it’s disrespectful that Chimaev is like completely ok with like, ‘Ok just line this up, I’ll beat him, I don’t got to cut a lot of weight and then I’ll go fight somebody else,” Meerschaert said.
“So far in the UFC you’ve fought (Rhys McKee) a lightweight who came up to welterweight for his debut and didn’t look that great. And then you fought (John Phillips) a middleweight who had a rough weight cut and really isn’t that dangerous on the ground. He’s only dangerous if you stand up and slug with him. And now you’re gonna fight a middleweight who’s gonna be bigger, stronger, and my technique’s going to be way better in the grappling department. So to think that you can start setting up fights afterward against (Demian Maia) a guy who, by the way, I’m tied with for most submissions in the middleweight division, if it’s not disrespectful then I don’t know what is,” Meerschaert said of Chimaev.
Meerschaert certainly has a point here. Although the UFC has double-booked fighters in the past, it is very rare. The promotion is clearly high on Chimaev and believes he will get by Meerschaert, which is why the Maia fight is already in the works. But as Meerschaert noted, he has far more experience in the UFC and is the bigger man, so perhaps Chimaev and the UFC matchmakers are biting off more than they can chew here with this plan.
Do you agree with Gerald Meerschaert that it is disrespectful the UFC has booked Khamzat Chimaev against both him and Demian Maia?