However, the matchup fell through after 'Borz' reportedly turned down a matchup against the former UFC middleweight champion on two different occasions. Speaking with Ariel Helwani on the latest episode of The MMA Hour, Rockhold took a shot at Chimaev for allegedly ducking him.
"Chimaev was out of the dark," Rockhold said. "The UFC just kinda threw that one at me and I was like, 'Wow! That's interesting!' This kid is the next hype machine. He thinks he can beat anybody, claims he can beat everybody. I liked the matchup, it got me excited to get off the couch and do my job. But there was nothing but dead silence on his end. Now he's trying to bark back and I think he's trying to get more confidence from that."
Luke Rockhold wasn't too impressed with Khamzat Chimaev avoiding him. However, the 36-year-old UFC veteran still believes the Swede is deserving of the attention he's given by fans. Asked whether he thinks Chimaev is overhyped, Rockhold responded by saying:
"I wouldn't say he's overhyped. I hear good things about him. I think he's tough. He's got good wrestling... I don't know about his ground game, seems decent but it's an interesting matchup and that's why I wanted it. I wanted something interesting."
Watch Luke Rockhold take a shot at Khamzat Chimaev:
Khamzat Chimaev reveals why he turned down Luke Rockhold fight
One of the most popular rising stars in the UFC, Khamzat Chimaev has said multiple times that he's going to smash everybody until he gets to the mountaintop. Apparently, though, Luke Rockhold isn't an opponent 'Borz' is interested in.
But according to Chimaev, he was on board with accepting a matchup against the former UFC middleweight titleholder. In a previous interview with Frontkick.Online, Chimaev revealed that his coaches and managers were not too keen on him fighting Rockhold. 'Borz' revealed that he was simply heeding their advice.
ALSO READArticle Continues below
It's been almost a year since Chimaev last fought in the octagon. He will make his long-awaited comeback at UFC 267 against No.11-ranked middleweight Li Jingliang in October.