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Chael Sonnen names one "very interesting" middleweight matchup for Khamzat Chimaev

Chael Sonnen (left), Khamzat Chimaev (right)
Chael Sonnen (left), Khamzat Chimaev (right)

With Khamzat Chimaev seemingly eyeing a move back up to middleweight, Chael Sonnen recently delved into a potential matchup for the unbeaten prospect, which would be a "very interesting" encounter.

Has Khamzat Chimaev (@KChimaev) found a new home in the UFC? 👀🔥 https://t.co/2SaYgsmzmD

'Borz' took to social media to announce his intention to move up in weight after coming in 7.5lbs over the welterweight limit last time out. Although he could potentially be one win away from a shot at the 170lbs title, a move up to 185lbs offers fresh matchups for the Russian-born Swede.

While speculating as to who Chimaev could face next, Chael Sonnen broke down a potential bout between the 28-year-old and former middleweight champion Robert Whittaker:

"Robert Whittaker versus Chimaev is a very interesting match. Robert Whittaker does not get his credit. I know that you guys think he's great, I know that he's ranked number one, I understand those things, [but] he's better than that... His takedown defense is as good as anyone I've seen. Robert Whittaker has as good of anti-wrestling and as good a defense I've ever seen and that's a big deal if you're gonna be in there with Chimaev."

Watch Chael Sonnen discuss Chimaev's future below:

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Whittaker is coming off a dominant decision win over Marvin Vettori at UFC Paris. The Australian is regarded among the best anti-wrestlers the sport has ever seen, making him a tough matchup for Chimaev.

While a Chimaev-Whittaker fight is certainly intriguing, it appears as though 'Borz' has no intention of fighting the fan-favorite Aussie.

Khamzat Chimaev would rather train with Robert Whittaker than fight him."I like that guy… I’m a big fan.”Full #UFC279 post-fight scrum ▶️ youtu.be/1Ot0I-r4iXk https://t.co/ucA5Bf3cAW

Who is available for Khamzat Chimaev's return to middleweight?

After receiving zero damage in his bout against Kevin Holland at UFC 279, Khamzat Chimaev could be ready to step back into the octagon before the end of the year, so who's available for him?

The obvious standout fight for him is Paulo Costa following their confrontation at the UFC P.I. in the lead-up to UFC 279. The Brazilian has been vocal about a fight against Chimaev since their altercation and this appears to be the matchup to make at 185lbs.

.@BorrachinhaMMA wants a piece of Khamzat Chimaev 👀👀 https://t.co/i6w7tqB3J3

Robert Whittaker and Marvin Vettori are the only other top-ranked middleweights without a fight on the horizon. A win over either Whittaker, Vettori or Costa, all of whom have come up short against divisional kingpin Israel Adesanya, will likely earn Khamzat Chimaev a shot at the title.

Chimaev has been calling for a fight against Adesanya for quite some time now, and with 'Borz' now scoping the top tier of the middleweight division, a fight between the two could happen sooner rather than later.

Khamzat Chimaev thinks he’s Israel Adesanya’s biggest threat. 🤼‍♂️ #UFC271 | Full story: bit.ly/34OAMjg https://t.co/r9yHgrgDzn

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Edited by C. Naik
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