Khamzat Chimaev Defends Level Of Competition He Has Faced In The UFC

    ByRoss Markey

    Mar 14, 2022
    Khamzat Chimaev

    Undefeated UFC welterweight contender, Khamzat Chimaev has defended the level of competition he has faced so far in his Octagon run, claiming that the likes of former champions, Jon Jones, Conor McGregor, or Khabib Nurmagomedov were not issued unfavorable matchups in the first handful of their UFC outings.

    Chimaev, who boasts an undefeated 10-0 professional record, currently sits at #10 in the official welterweight rankings off the back of four consecutive victories and stoppage wins in his UFC tenure.

    The Chechen-born finisher debuted in the UFC back in July of 2020, stopping John Philips with a second round D’Arce choke, before returning just 10 days later to finish Rhys McKee with first round ground strikes.

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    In September of that year, Chimaev stopped Gerald Meerschaert with a vicious one-punch knockout in just 17 seconds and featured most recently in October of last year after an extended layoff due to health complications stemming from a battle with COVID-19.

    Featuring on the main card of UFC 267 in Abu Dhabi, UAE – Chimaev made incredibly light work of the then-#11 ranked, Li Jingliang, stopping the contender with a one-sided opening round rear-naked choke. Off the back of his fourth Octagon win, Chimaev now finds himself in contention for a title opportunity, should he traverse the challenge presented by the #2 ranked contender, one-time title challenger, Gilbert Burns at UFC 273 on April 9.

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    Booked to meet the Brazilian in Jacksonville, Florida – Chimaev has already set sights on division best, Kamaru Usman, as well as former interim champion, Colby Covington with a win over Sanford MMA staple, Burns.

    Absorbing just a sole significant strike during his UFC tenure so far, Chimaev has compared his run of that to former two-time light heavyweight champion, the aforenoted, Jones, explaining how the Rochester native was unable to avoid follow suit and take so little damage in his first outings under the promotion’s banner.

    “Who (went) in the cage: 10 fights, 10 finishes,” Khamzat Chimaev said on Block Access’ ‘Smesh Bros’ vlog,” The guys tell like, ‘Oh, he didn’t fight this guy, he didn’t fight that guy.’ But the guys who’s the best guys – Jon Jones: His first four fights in UFC, he get the punch, I didn’t get the punch. We don’t say: (Jones’) first fights, he didn’t get the best ones – the guys, you know, like, super good guys, Nobody. Conor (McGregor) didn’t get that – crazy good guys in his first fights. Nobody. Khabib (Nurmagomedov) didn’t get crazy good guys. I just need the time.” (Transcribed by MMA Junkie)

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