Former UFC Middleweight champion Chris Weidman is the latest to throw his name in the hat to take on Khamzat Chimaev – currently one of the hottest prospects in the UFC.
Chris Weidman wants to fight Khamzat Chimaev in January, tweeting earlier in the day that the Russian born Swede needs to be “humbled”, and he would like to be the one to do so early next year.
Khamzat Chimaev, since his UFC debut in July, has been the talk of the MMA town having 3 wins out of 3 outings within 2 months. To add to the impressive start of his UFC career, Khamzat Chimaev also boasts of 3 finishes. Further, Khamzat Chimaev broke the record for the shortest turnaround between UFC wins with a first-round TKO of Rhys McKee at UFC Fight Island 3, having last fought only 10 days prior. To add to his impressive resume, Khamzat Chimaev achieved this feat having previously fought at Middleweight, and not only was he ready to go again in 10 days, but he made weight as a Welterweight for the bout as well.
Weidman, however, is not the first high profile name associated with Khamzat Chimaev’s next bout. Former Welterweight contender and #6 ranked Middleweight Darren Till has also shown interest in taking on Khamzat with a barrage of social media messages targeted at Khamzat.
Dana White had also commented in September that Khamzat Chimaev may also be Demian Maia’s farewell MMA fight as the former had shown interest in fighting the UFC legend and BJJ stalwart.
It remains to be seen whether Khamzat Chimaev fights at Middleweight or Welterweight in his next fight as ‘Borz’ has had equally impressive performances at both the divisions and seems game to take on the biggest names in either weight category.
Weidman’s fortunes have been quite opposite to those of Khamzat Chimaev’s in the recent past. The “All American” has a dismal 2-5 record in his last 7 UFC outings suffering knockouts in each of the 5 losses including his first-round finish at the hands of Dominick Reyes in his sole venture into the Light Heavyweight division. While he won his last fight against Omari Akhmedov in August earlier this year, he looked far from his best.
Darren Till’s recent form also flatters to deceive as he is 1-3 in his last 4 UFC outings, however, he has looked much better and healthier since his move to the Middleweight division.
With Khamzat Chimaev wanting a high ranked opponent and after his 17 second KO of Gerald Meerschaert at Middleweight, Darren Till looks the most likely to get the nod. The UFC, however, are playing their cards close to their chest.
As a side note, it is interesting to note that Khamzat Chimaev is also one of the very few fighters on the UFC roster to have fought in India, when in December 2018, he stopped Sidney Wheeler in 35 seconds during a Brave CF event held in Hyderabad.Published 16 Oct 2020, 19:47 IST