Khamzat Chimaev took the UFC by storm, and it reminded many of the incredible rise of Conor McGregor. The fighter from Sweden has such drawing power that just four bouts into the promotion, he amassed a social media following bigger than his division's champion Kamaru Usman.
Chael Sonnen is in awe of Chimaev's rise and the massive marketing machinery behind him. According to 'The Bad Guy', it is the greatest exercise in marketing the UFC has ever done, greater than Conor McGregor and Ronda Rousey. Dana White and his promotion did an incredible job building Rousey and McGregor into household names; even those who didn't follow the sport found themselves knowing these two names.
However, Sonnen believes Chimaev's marketing is the best the UFC has done for a fighter to date. Calling it "the Khamzat Chimaev experiment," the former UFC title challenger said:
"The Khamzat Chimaev experiment and that marketing angle is the most effective that I've ever seen within our sport, and we've had some big ones. Conor McGregor came out of nowhere. Ronda Rousey was bigger than life. The Chimaev 'fight instantly, fight anybody, fight any weight class, stop you in the first round, smash everybody, bring somebody' was the single greatest marketing I've ever seen. I've never seen anything work that well."
Watch the segment and video below:
Khamzat Chimaev would understand if Conor McGregor cut the line for a welterweight title shot
Months ago, the former UFC two-division champion claimed he wanted to return and fight Kamaru Usman for the 170lbs belt in a bid to become the first triple champion in the promotion's history.
While McGregor did raise eyeballs, and some questioned if he was simply jesting, 'Borz' stated that he would be okay if the Irishman cut the line ahead of the ranked contenders in the division. While his sights are firmly set on gold, the Chechen native realizes that Conor McGregor brings eyeballs to the sport and the UFC is, at the end of the day, a business.
Chimaev even offered to help McGregor train with him and prepare for a welterweight fight. However, it would appear the Crumlin native didn't bite. That said, McGregor is finally back to MMA training at Straight Blast Gym under the guidance of John Kavanagh after his gruesome leg injury at UFC 264 last year.