At UFC 254, Khabib Nurmagomedov closed his iconic career with an undefeated record of 29-0. After his win over Justin Gaethje, The Eagle stated that he wouldn't fight anymore without his father, who passed away before the bout, in his corner.
While Khabib's retirement will be a huge loss to the UFC, the promotion has seemingly gained an up-and-coming superstar in the form of Khamzat Chimaev. The Swedish fighter made his debut this year and 10 days after his first fight, 'The Wolf' made his return to the octagon and secured his second win in the UFC.
In his most recent UFC outing, Chimaev put away Gerald Meerschaert within seconds to win his third fight. And after a win at middleweight, 'Borz' now finds himself back at welterweight for a clash against #3 ranked Leon Edwards. While there have been a few notable comparisons between Khabib and Chimaev, former UFC middleweight title contender Chael Sonnen weighed in on the topic.
Chael Sonnen discusses the probability of Khamzat Chimaev replacing Khabib Nurmagomedov in the UFC
In a recent video on his YouTube channel, Chael Sonnen made a bold claim by stating that Khabib Nurmagomedov is arguably the biggest Muslim athlete in the world right now. That's not just in Mixed Martial Arts but in general sport.
While Sonnen made interesting points in his video, the most fascinating idea that he details is the fact that Chimaev's stock could mainly revolve around the UFC trying to retain the interest of a particular region in the world. Which in this case, is, of course, Dagestan.
That being said, Sonnen also mentions that the UFC could fill in that particular void with the help of Khabib's fellow teammates, a majority of whom are from the Dagestan region. One man that comes to mind is Islam Makhachev, whom Khabib Nurmagomedov himself has shown a lot of faith in and could be the next breakout lightweight fighter.
Check out Chael Sonnen's theory for yourself:
What's next for Khamzat Chimaev?
Khamzat Chimaev will be headlining his first UFC event on December 19th. In what will be the UFC's final event of 2020, Chimaev will fight Leon Edwards.Published 22 Nov 2020, 02:03 IST