Khamzat Chimaev, Gerald Meerschaert involved in verbal altercation ahead of fight

Khamzat Chimaev
Image via @ufcrussia on Instagram (photographer not listed)

Khamzat Chimaev and Gerald Meerschaert were involved in a verbal altercation ahead of their fight this Saturday on the UFC Vegas 11 main card.

Chimaev claims he crossed paths with Meerschaert in Las Vegas this week, and decided to give his foe a scolding for some of his recent comments.

“He was here – I met him,” Chimaev said during the UFC Vegas 11 media day (via MMA Fighting). “I said he speak too much, he talk too much in the media. He disrespected me.

“He think I didn’t like that, but I said to him you like to talk too much. He said, ‘Yeah,’ I said I’m going to smash your face, chicken. He said nothing.”

Meerschaert also weighed in on this confrontation. He seemed to take the situation a little less than his rival.

“We passed each other in the hallway earlier today – it was pretty quick,” Meerschaert said of his encounter with Chimaev. “He tried, I think he was trying to talk trash to me. He just kept saying, ‘don’t talk too much’ and I was kind of like ‘OK, we’re fighting Saturday, we’re not going to do anything now’ because I want to make money. I don’t know what his deal is.

“Not only that, but I don’t think it’s a very cool thing to flex when you’ve got a bunch of your friends with you and stuff. Like I had one guy with me, he had a bunch of guys with him. Dude, I get it. You don’t have to like me, I don’t have to like you but let’s just save it for the cage.”

Despite being booked to fight Meerschaert, Chimaev is already linked to a fight with Demian Maia this fall. Meerschaert has admitted he finds his foe’s double-booking “disrespectful,” but that’s the only real gripe he has.

“Really, I haven’t said anything bad about him,” Meerschaert said. “He’s just angry for no reason. For me, it’s like, dude, you’re looking past me.

“You’re the one that needs to put some respect on my name and acknowledge when you’re fighting a guy that has 40-plus fights – might be more than a handful,” Meerschaert added. “I don’t think I’ve actually said anything bad about him, so I don’t know why he was so upset, or if he thinks that makes him look like a tough guy or whatever. It’s water off my back.

“I don’t really care what he’s going to say, because we have a contract in place that says on Saturday night, they’re going to lock that cage door and we get to figure it out ourselves.”

While Gerald Meerschaert claims to feel no animosity heading into this matchup, Khamzat Chimaev seems to be holding a bit of a grudge.

“I’m going to finish all my opponents,” Chimaev said. “I’m going to try to do this in this fight. I’m going to finish this guy.”

“I am better everywhere. I have better wrestling. I have better grappling. I have better striking. How’s he going to stop me? He said my jiu-jitsu but eight fights, eight finishes. But these guys were not jokes that I’m fighting, these guys are real fighters. I finished the guys. Who is this guy to stop me? I’m going to smash his face also.”