Gilbert Burns claims Khamzat Chimaev is moving up to middleweight

Many people in the MMA industry have been speculating about whether Khamzat Chimaev will keep competing at welterweight after the Chechen-born Swede missed weight by over seven pounds at UFC 279 last September.

Chimaev has made a name for himself in the welterweight class and is presently ranked third among competitors in the official UFC standings. Meanwhile, his ability to maintain his weight at 170 pounds is still in doubt.

Gibert Burns seems to have a solution, however. Aaron Bronsteter of TSN Sport tweeted that when he asked Burns about a rematch with Khamzat Chimaev, Burn claimed to have heard that Chimaev was moving up to 185 pounds.

“I spoke with Gilbert Burns today and when I asked him about a potential rematch with Khamzat Chimaev, he said that he had heard that Chimaev planned to move up to middleweight going forward.”

Ever since Alex Pereira beat Israel Adesanya at UFC 281 in November, Chimaev has often said on social media that he intends to take on Pereira. Chimaev has previously competed at middleweight, but only time will tell whether this is a long-term shift for him.

Khamzat Chimaev last competed at UFC 279 in September of last year against Kevin Holland after being forced to reschedule his planned bout against Nate Diaz due to him missing his weight.

Despite the welterweight’s desire to compete against opponents like Alex Pereira and Colby Covington, nothing official has been confirmed as of yet. Daniel Cormier is concerned that this may hurt Chimaev’s prospects of getting a shot at the title.

On a recent edition of the DC & RC Show, Cormier discussed how Khamzat Chimaev would be affected by the fight between Leon Edwards and Kamaru Usman at UFC 286 on March 18 in London, given his extended absence.

“For me, it’s a big concern because now we’re through the first quarter of the year, right?

… So Khamzat is not in the first quarter. Who and when does he fight? He isn’t in a position right now where he is a once-a-year type of guy… I don’t understand why Khamzat Chimaev wouldn’t be in London even if it’s at middleweight… I would like him to be back at 170 against a guy like Colby Covington or a Belal Muhammad.”