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"When he fought Jon Jones, everyone started training MMA" - Khamzat Chimaev describes the impact UFC Hall of Famer Alexander Gustafsson had on Swedish MMA

Khamzat Chimaev [Image Courtesy: Jeff Bottari]
Khamzat Chimaev [Image Courtesy: Jeff Bottari]

Khamzat Chimaev has tremendous respect for Alexander Gustafsson.

Speaking to Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour, Chimaev discussed a bunch of topics. When asked how he felt seeing Gustafsson fall short yet again, Chimaev replied:

"Feels bad. Really bad like that guy is so nice guy. He helped us a lot. I become the fighter I am. Maybe if not Alex being and living in Sweden... maybe I didn't start MMA. Maybe I didn't show up in the UFC. The guys now, all the guys from Sweden who fight have to thank Alex because of him we on the top. We fight on the different UFCs."

Khamzat Chimaev continued:

"We are like from Sweden, five or six guys in the UFC. Before Alex there was almost nobody there. When he fought Jon Jones, everyone started training MMA. For us, he has always been the champion. He didn't get the belt but he's the champ for us."

Watch the interview below:

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Some in the MMA community are calling for Gustafsson's retirement now that he's on a four-fight losing skid.

'Borz' had previously shown his respect for Gustafsson via social media. Following Gus' rough loss on Saturday to Nikita Krylov, Khamat went on Instagram to say:

Khamzat Chimaev expresses his gratitude toward his role model, Alexander Gustafsson 🙏#UFC #MMA https://t.co/Fvo4DOrsDX

Gustafsson returned after a competitive hiatus that was just two days shy of a two-year total. His return was spoiled by the Russian Krylov.

'The Mauler' fought for the UFC Light-Heavyweight World Championship three times. He collected emphatic victories over Glover Teixeira, Jan Błachowicz, Maurício Rua, Thiago Silva, Vladimir Matyushenko, and Matt Hamill.


Khamzat Chimaev's next assignment

Khamzat Chimaev looks set to go 12-0 as a professional martial artist as he clashes with Nate Diaz at UFC 279 on September 10. Chimaev vs. Diaz, taking place at welterweight, pits the No.3- ranked contender against an unranked Diaz

This is the last fight on Diaz's UFC contract and the Stockton native characteristically faces yet another fearsome test inside the cage.

Nate Diaz vs. Khamzat Chimaev poster by the GOAT @dosbrak 💯 #UFC279 https://t.co/UKW7iVCyJM

Chimaev has won all five of his UFC fights and earned a finish in four of them. His only bout to go the distance was his latest contest against Gilbert 'Durinho' Burns at UFC 273 in April, which was a fight of the year contender.

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Edited by Virat Deswal
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