Khamzat Chimaev’s meteoric rise in the UFC has been nothing short of impressive. However, the Chechen star has received criticism for his conduct ahead of his UFC 279 bout with Nate Diaz.
Chimaev missed weight by close to 8lbs forcing the entire card to be reshuffled. He managed to redeem himself by defeating Kevin Holland in the co-main event.
At one point, rumors were swirling that Khamzat Chimaev could be facing off against former interim welterweight champion Colby Covington or one-time middleweight title challenger Paulo Costa. However, it appears that these matchups have fallen through for now.
One thing that is clear, however, is that Dana White is adamant about Khamzat Chimaev competing at middleweight. After the disastrous weight cut at UFC 279, the UFC president has stated that Chimaev must compete in the middleweight division moving forward.
In recent interviews, Khamzat Chimaev has issued public challenges to middleweight elites Israel Adesanya and Alex Pereira. According to ‘Borz’, he believes that Adesanya and Pereira are easy matchups due to their perceived weak grappling.
UFC is reportedly targeting Chimaev and Paulo Costa for Abu Dhabi in October.
Following UFC 279, Dana White kicked out everyone from Chimaev’s locker room and went in to share a few words with the ace. Now Chimaev has revealed what was said during the exchange:
“Dana White invited me to his room and told me ‘I’m even happy that this happened. Had you fought Diaz, it would’ve been a very bad night’. He said it would be a bad option for both parties, UFC and Diaz too. He said ‘It would have looked like we put him in there to get killed, and we would become hated’.”
White isn’t too far off. In lead up to UFC 279, UFC veteran Dan Hardy called out the promotion for said matchmaking and went so far as to say they should be sued for attempted murder.
He wasn’t the only one either – plenty of stars have spoken out about the egregious matchmaking in that case. Diaz ultimately faced Tony Ferguson and pulled off a surprising submission victory creating an iconic moment in process.