Dana White has addressed the much-discussed potential fight between Khamzat Chimaev and former UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman.
Usman is coming off a second consecutive defeat against reigning UFC welterweight champion Leon Edwards. After the loss in March of this year, ‘The Nigerian Nightmare’ suggested that he’d like to fight ‘Borz’, potentially in a catchweight bout.
During the UFC Vegas 73 post-fight press conference earlier today, UFC president Dana White explained why he’s unlikely to book the catchweight matchup despite Kamaru Usman’s relentless lobbying.
Chimaev, for his part, missed weight for his scheduled welterweight (170-pound) bout against Nate Diaz in September 2022. Following that, Dana White confirmed that the Russian-born Swede would return to the middleweight (185-pound) division this year.
Alluding to the aforementioned variables at play, Dana White asserted that he’s against the idea of their possible catchweight bout. White stated:
“I think that it’s a fight that Usman wants. That’s no secret. Usman literally came to the office to lobby for that fight. I told him I love him. Usman is one of the best guys we’ve ever worked with. I love working with the guy. You know, look at all the things he’s accomplished. I don’t do catchweights. Don’t do it.”
“You know how Khamzat is? If you talk sh** to Khamzat, Khamzat’s gonna go right at it with you and doesn’t care who he fights and all that stuff. So, I don’t know. Obviously, we’ve been making a lot of announcements lately. We haven’t made that announcement yet because we don’t have a fight done yet. But we’re working on stuff for Khamzat.”
Watch White discuss the topic at 14:54 in the video below:
UFC president Dana White on the delay in Khamzat Chimaev’s next fight
Khamzat Chimaev‘s last fight witnessed him defeat Kevin Holland via first-round submission in a 180-pound catchweight matchup in September 2022. In the ensuing months, Chimaev has been linked to several potential fights at middleweight, including possible clashes against top-tier middleweights such as Paulo Costa and Robert Whittaker.
However, none of the aforesaid matchups have materialized yet for Khamzat Chimaev. ‘Borz’ recently claimed that he’s been waiting for the UFC to book him for his next fight. Furthermore, ‘Borz’ hinted that he could return to the octagon at UFC 294 in Abu Dhabi on October 21.
Meanwhile, UFC head honcho Dana White recently contradicted Khamzat Chimaev’s claims. He noted that the delay in his next fight being announced is because of ‘Borz’ himself. Speaking to TSN’s Aaron Bronsteter, White said:
“That’s on him, though. He’s got stuff going on in his personal life. That’s not because we’re not getting him a fight. Obviously, you know how it goes here. I talk about this all the time. We have to get guys three fights a year. So if we don’t get guys three fights a year, we have to pay them. The only way that wouldn’t happen is if they have personal stuff going on.”
Watch White’s assessment below: