Recently reports have come out that UFC’s rising star Khamzat Chimaev is bulking up. Chimaev made his intentions to contend for the 180lbs belt clear.
In terms of MIddleweight, current champion Alex Pereira is considered a huge weight cutter. He reportedly cuts even more weight than Chimaev. Ahead of his trilogy bout against Adesanya at UFC 281, he boasted of weighing 232lbs.
New images of Chimaev cast doubts on his walking around weight and his chances of a welterweight return but coach Andreas Michael rebuffed the claims.
Michael spoke on Chimaev’s channel:
“Middleweight, for the belt. I would like that. That’s an amazing fight, but we can fight at 77 (170lbs) [kilograms]. There is no problem. There is no problem at all. It’s just good preparation. ”
“Good warning for if we’re going to go drop a lot down in weight then we need time and it’s done. Not these five weeks or four weeks preparation thing because it’s not doable at that time. Right now, he’s at 89 (196lbs) kilos so he can make weight tomorrow. It’s no problem at 84 kilos even if everyone thinks that he’s 140 kilos.”
There’s one reason to be skeptical about this claim, Chimaev previously offered Pereira a chance to meet him at 205lbs at the UFC 282 event. It’s doubtful Chimaev would offer a weight that would make him have a huge disadvantage considering how unwilling he was to compete against Paulo Costa, who is another oversized middleweight.
Prior to his weight miss, Chimaev had hinted at a possible switch to middleweight. Now he is angling for a title fight with middleweight champion Alex Pereira. Although a middleweight title shot is doubtful, we could still see him shift to that weight class.
Khamzat Chimaev has been vying for a middleweight title shot against Alex Pereira despite being unranked in the category.
Chimaev said on his YouTube channel:
“Alex Pereira, he has 6-1 record. He lost. I never lost in my life and he lost against a s**t guy. The guy is not in the UFC, as well. UFC don’t want it. The guy don’t want it. What am I going to do? I just want to fight. Give me somebody. If the guy runs away from me, just give me somebody. I’m ready.”
Chimaev may not get a chance to challenge Pereira for the middleweight belt. It’s widely believed Adesanya might take a first stab at the champ.