Khamzat Chimaev says seeing Conor McGregor knock out Jose Aldo made him realize he could become a big star in MMA.
Chimaev, at the time of the fight, had yet to make his pro or amateur debut and was instead doing wrestling matches in Sweden. But, after the fight, he began training and finally turned pro in 2018 and has gone 10-0 including four wins in the UFC.
The Swede is set for the toughest test of his career as he will face Gilbert Burns at UFC 273. Should Chimaev win, he will likely get the title shot, and ahead of the bout, he reflected back on the beginning of his career and how McGregor knocking out Aldo is the reason he went all-in on MMA.
“I see the guy (McGregor) knock him out. I was thinking if that light guy did that s**t, then why is it the end of it,” Chimaev said to ESPN. “Mentally, I’m stronger than him, my body’s bigger than him. I was feeling if, at that time, I just meet him outside, I can break him, you know. If he makes that money, why not me?”
Although Khamzat Chimaev is not near the star level of Conor McGregor, he has become extremely popular due to his fighting style and his trash talk. He also believes he will run through Burns and continue his undefeated run.
“I am the champ, I am the king, I am the best ever, better than everybody. Smash everybody, nobody’s like me,” Chimaev said about the Burns fight in a video posted to BlockAccess, his sponsor’s, YouTube channel. “They’re too slow, coach, the guys too slow, too weak, coach. I am too strong for them, too fast, coach. I have conditioning with no limit, limited edition condition, my right hand coach, broke the mountains.”
If he goes out there and beats Burns at UFC 273 as he says, it will only add to his star power and help him make the money he thought he could make after seeing what McGregor did to Aldo.
What do you make of Khamzat Chimaev saying Conor McGregor inspired him to pursue MMA?