Kamaru Usman is currently coming off the back of consecutive losses to Leon Edwards. Their rivalry not only cost Kamaru Usman his welterweight title, but has left him in a precarious position in the division.
‘The Nigerian Nightmare’s dominance as the 170lb champ has meant there are few options for him outside of fighting for the belt.
If he aims to once again restart his run as the champion, few could ignore a victory over ‘Borz’ as a serious way of re-entering the title picture.
Javier Mendez, head coach of American Kingboxing Academy (AKA), recently weighed in on a potential meeting between the two.
Speaking to Helen Yee, Mendez stated that Usman presents a tougher challenge to Khamzat Chimaev than the likes of middleweights such as Israel Adesanya and Alex Pereira. He said:
“I see [Khamzat Chimaev] having a better shot against [Israel Adesanya] and Alex [Pereira] if he was to fight them at 185 [pounds] than Kamaru. ‘Cause [of] the wrestling. Come on, Kamaru is an Olympic level wrestler. Khamzat Chimaev is a great wrestler, but now you’re going up against another guy with great wrestling, probably better than yours. So that’s a fight we want to see, but I look at Khamzat as a future 185 [pound] champion.”
Catch the interview here (9:50):
Khamzat Chimaev should be forced to fight Kamaru Usman at 170lbs, says UFC welterweight Joaquin Buckley.
‘Borz’ has yet to feature in the octagon this year, with his last appearance coming at the infamous UFC 279 pay-per-view. The Chechen-born Swede missed weight for his bout against Nate Diaz by 7.5lbs and instead defeated Kevin Holland in a catchweight fight.
Following the event and due to his staggering weight miss, Dana White admitted Chimaev’s future would likely be at middleweight. Contenders such as Paulo Costa and Robert Whittaker were also rumored to be ready to face him.
That was until the rumor mill started to suggest that the UFC brass are working on booking Khamzat Chimaev against former champ Kamaru Usman at 185lbs. ‘Borz’ has even called out ‘The Nigerian Nightmare’ on Twitter and both men have suggested they’d be open to the fight.
Weighing in on the potential clash was newly-fledged welterweight Joaquin Buckley. According to ‘New Mansa’, the fight must take place at 170lbs because Chimaev should be made to work instead of being handed a title shot. He tweeted:
“@USMAN84KG Should fight @KChimaev at 170. Make that punk cut the weight and work for a title shot.”