During a recent appearance on The MMA Hour, Khamzat Chimaev gave his take on the upcoming title fight between Usman and Edwards.
According to ‘Borz’, the two athletes are almost equally matched. However, he gave Usman the edge on the basis of his experience and fight IQ.
“I think 50-50… Leon [has] good defense. He trained a lot of wrestling, I think. But I give a little bit more for Usman because he’s a smart fighter… He do his work smartest way because he’s older than us and he’s been a long time in this game now. That makes you smarter when you go long wars like he did.”
Khamzat Chimaev’s coach Andreas Michael thinks that the Chechen-born Swede should focus on fighting the winner of Kamaru Usman vs. Leon Edwards next instead of a matchup with middleweight champion Israel Adesanya.
During a recent interview with on Submission Radio, the Allstars head coach talked about the ideal path that, according to him, ‘Borz’ should follow in the UFC.
Chimaev recently stated that he would contemplate skipping the welterweight title fight and moving up to fight Adesanya for the middleweight belt. However, coach Michael would prefer for Chimaev to fight the UFC 278 main event victor before looking towards 185 pounds.
“I would like [Khamzat] to fight the winner of Leon and Usman. That would be a very tough fight for both guys. The winner of that one and then move up directly, and if Adesanya is still the champion after he fights [Alex] Pereira, [who] is a monster, that guy,… then we would fight the champ there [at middleweight]… In a perfect world for us, that’s how it would look.”
Usman and Edwards are set for a rematch for the UFC title in the main event of UFC 278.
At the very next pay-per-view event, UFC 279, Chimaev will take on MMA star Nate Diaz in a five-round headliner.
Chimaev is currently on a five-fight win streak in the UFC. A win over Diaz at UFC 279 will likely further cement himself as next in line for a title shot.
Watch the full interview below: