Khamzat Chimaev has been the target of a lot of criticism in the last couple of weeks.
Despite still being undefeated, he went through the most difficult contest of his life when he faced Gilbern “Durinho” Burns on the main card of UFC 273.
Chimaev ended up the winner after a close judge’s decision, in fact, the decision was so close that a lot of people thought that the victory should have gone to the Brazilian.
Even though he won, the expectations were so high that part of his fan base demanded nothing short of perfection. So much so, that some fans started comparing his latest bout to Khabib’s nearly immaculate UFC run.
Even his coach, Andreas Michael, publicly criticized Chimaev’s performance by labeling it “embarrassing”.
However, Andreas Michael now retracts the harsh criticism he voiced and is now defending his athlete against what he considers to be “unfair” criticism.
Michael argues that several other great fighters, including Khabib Nurmagomedov, have also faced adversity in the past.
In an interview with ESPN’s Brett Okamoto, coach Andreas Michael opened up about the issue.
“If we thought in those lines, in that way, then great fighters like Khabib [Nurmagomedov] and [Islam] Makhachev, in reality, would not have that chance,” Andreas Michael said. “Because when Makhachev got knocked out on the same card as Cormier versus Alexander Gustafsson in 2015, I think. And in the first round, after one minute and forty-six seconds, he [Makhachev] got dropped.”
“And if we thought that, ‘Oh, man, he’s rubbish. He’s not that good.’ I think he’s one of the best fighters in the UFC, in my opinion.”
Khamzat Chimaev previously addressed comparisons between him and the Dagestanis by saying:
“Some guy write something about me like, ‘Khabib going to smash you,’ and I answer for this guy, but it was my wrong because I answer to this bullsh*t guy that nobody knows,” Chimaev told Frontkick.online. “I answer him if he wants to smash me, I’m going to smash him, too. (I answered) like this because I’m a real man and I’m going to answer like that. If somebody says he’ll smash you, what do you want me to say?
“He said, ‘Khabib going to smash you,’ and in my head, if somebody says he’s going to smash you, of course I’m going to answer, ‘Nobody is going to smash me. I’m going to smash everybody.’
“If you’re a real man, you have to think like that, (unless) you’re some chicken you can’t stay up. Sometimes you forget you’re famous, and I become famous like one day before, and still sometimes and you wake up and think it’s normal life for you.”