UFC President Dana White believes it’s possible that Khamzat Chimaev is already skilled enough to hang with UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman.
Chimaev was the breakout star of the UFC’s four-even stint on “Fight Island” in Abu Dhabi. The Chechen-Swede won two fights in a 10-day span, submitting John Phillips at middleweight and Rhys McKee by TKO at welterweight—both in the first round.
White, for his part, is certainly high on the 26-year-old.
“Khamzat,” White told ESPN when asked who he was most impressed with on Fight Island (via MMA Junkie). “I mean, you know? The guy is so dominant, so confident, wants to continue to fight every weekend. I love it. I love guys with that mentality. I love how talented this guy is. We threw the hottest prospect out of the U.K. at him and that kid is a badass. That kid is a legit great fighter. (Chimaev) made it look like he didn’t belong there. … The kid is legit. He’s real and he knows it and I love it.”
Even after two wins in a 10-day window, Chimaev is already chomping at the bit to get back into the Octagon, and has reportedly requested a fight in August. White says he’s inclined to give his new super-prospect what he wants in terms of fight scheduling.
“He said he wanted to fight and I said, ‘Done. I’ll make it happen,’” White said. “He wants to fight now again in August. I’m going to get him what he wants.”
While White is prepared to let Chimaev fight again soon, he hasn’t established who the undefeated fighter will be matched up with next.
Chimaev, who is currently brimming with confidence, has recently called out the likes of Demian Maia, Michael Chiesa and Conor McGregor. White seems to believe the Swede could actually be ready for challenges of that level, and “maybe” even a fight with the welterweight champion.
“That’s what we’re trying to figure out,” White said of the next opponent for Chimaev. “We were sitting in here this morning trying to figure out what we think is next. If you ask this kid, he’s ready to fight Usman. You know what I mean? Is he ready for Usman? The way he looks, who knows? Maybe.”
Who do you want to see Khamzat Chimaev fight next?