Khamzat Chimaev is a potential star in the making. Unfortunately, the undefeated phenom received widespread criticism for his conduct ahead of his UFC 279 main event clash with Nate Diaz. Not only did he miss weight, but he did so by a staggering amount, prompting Dana White to book him against a different foe.
‘Borz’ was demoted to the co-main event bout and faced Kevin Holland instead. After the bout, he was widely criticized and Dana White even suggested that the unbeaten Chechen would have to fight at 185 lbs. However, according to Chimaev, this is untrue as he claims that White was happy with how things turned out.
After watching him make short work of Kevin Holland in the co-main event, Dana White invited Khamzat Chimaev to his room. But according to ‘Borz’ in a recent interview, it wasn’t to chastize him, but to express relief instead. He claimed that White told him that not fighting Diaz was a blessing in disguise.
He claimed that the UFC president said this after realizing that the MMA world would have turned against them due to a potential mismatch, had they seen ‘Borz’ fight Nate Diaz.
“No, immediately after the fight, Dana White invited me to his room and told me ‘I’m even happy that this happened. Had you fought Diaz, it would’ve been a very bad night’. He said it would be a bad option for both parties, UFC and Diaz too. He said ‘It would have looked like we put him in there to get killed, and we would become hated’.”
What’s next for Khamzat Chimaev?
Despite initially making waves for his quick turnaround after every fight, undefeated Chechen Khamzat Chimaev hasn’t set foot inside the octagon since his UFC 279 clash with Kevin Holland. Their bout took place last September and since then, there’s been no clear news on ‘Borz’s’ next step.
Rumored matchups with former interim welterweight champion Colby Covington and one-time middleweight title challenger Paulo Costa seem to have fallen through. The only apparent indication of his future is that Dana White is adamant about him fighting at middleweight after his disastrous weight cut at UFC 279.
Meanwhile, ‘Borz’ has taken to issuing public challenges to middleweight elites Israel Adesanya and Alex Pereira, claiming that the two men are easy matchups due to their perceived weak grappling.