UFC welterweight contender Khamzat Chimaev has some big plans for 2023.
‘Borz’ has been out of action since his submission win over Kevin Holland in September. While the first-round win was impressive, it didn’t come without controversy. Chimaev was previously scheduled to face Nate Diaz at UFC 279 instead.
However, the Chechen badly missed weight prior to the event and faced ‘Trail Blazer’ as a result. Due to the severe weight miss, Dana White and Chimaev’s team teased a move to middleweight next. However, the promoter later went against that idea and stated he would like to see him return to welterweight to face Colby Covington.
Ultimately, Khamzat Chimaev is willing to compete in both weight classes. In an interview with ESPN, the Chechen laid out his plans for the next calendar year. The first mission? A middleweight clash with the newly crowned champion Alex Pereira in Brazil.
If all goes well there, the rising contender would like to face ‘Chaos’ in March. In the interview, Chimaev also revealed he’s already in discussions with the UFC to face both men.
“Before, I was thinking if Kamaru Usman wins his fight, I will fight with him next,” Chimaev said. “But he lost. And I was thinking if [Israel] Adesanya won his fight, who’s he going to fight? There’s only me. And he lost as well. Now [Pereira and Adesanya] want to rematch in March, I don’t know what they’re going to do.” (h/t MMAFighting)
He continued, “So I said to Sean Shelby and Dana as well, I’m ready for Pereira in Brazil. Directly after that, March, if Colby wants to fight, I’d take my title and I’d go down to 170 and fight Colby as well.”
“Sean Shelby, I spoke with him [about Pereira] and he said first, ‘Yeah, let’s go brother, we’ll do it,’” Chimaev said. “Then I don’t know what’s happening. He said, ‘OK brother, we’ll go Colby first.’ So maybe Colby, for me it doesn’t matter. Colby isn’t talking about the fight or about me, so you know how Colby is doing when he fights somebody, he doesn’t stop talking, so I don’t know. We will see.”
While Khamzat Chimaev might have some big plans, they may not all come to fruition. Earlier today, Alex Pereira hinted at a rematch with Israel Adesanya next.
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