Don’t expect Khamzat Chimaev to take on Robert Whittaker anytime soon.
Chimaev was at the center of controversy going into UFC 279. He was expected to go one-on-one with Nate Diaz inside the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, on September 10. That plan went awry as Chimaev missed weight, which led to the main card being reshuffled.
As a result, Chimaev ended up fighting Kevin Holland, while Diaz did battle with Tony Ferguson. Chimaev scored a first-round submission over Holland, while Diaz submitted Ferguson in the fourth round.
During the post-fight press conference, Chimaev discussed possibly fighting at middleweight next and he shared why he doesn’t want to fight Whittaker.
“I like that guy, so I don’t wanna fight good guys,” Chimaev said. “I need some bad guys, so I wanna fight some bad guys.”
UFC President Dana White told reporters following UFC 279 that he believes Chimaev would be best served to compete at middleweight (h/t MMAFighting).
“It’s a problem,” White said. “That’s a problem that he missed weight. I don’t know. We’ve got to look at it and figure it out. What makes sense is for him to fight at [185 pounds], so we’ll see.
“It is what it is. It happened. We’ll go back this week and come up with a plan and probably have him fight at .”
With that said, the UFC boss isn’t ruling out Chimaev being able to stick around in the welterweight division.
“After he just didn’t make weight, I don’t know,” White said when addressing Chimaev’s future. “There’s a lot of possibilities for him. Possibly at 170 or at 185.”
Chimaev has been on quite a run and figures to be close to a UFC title opportunity, but weight has suddenly become a talking point with him. It’ll be interesting to see how the UFC plays this one out.