Welcome to the UFC: Khamzat Chimaev

Khamzat Chimaev
Khamzat Chimaev Credit: Cageside Press

Just days out from the UFC 251 PPV card, the world’s largest MMA promotion is back to Fight Island. A rare Wednesday show, the UFC on ESPN 13 card is headlined by a featherweight bout between Dan Ige and Calvin Kattar in a fight with important title implications.

Lower on the card in a middleweight bout John Phillips was originally supposed to welcome Dusko Todorovic to the UFC. However, it appears an undisclosed medical issues forced Todorovic’s withdrawal from the fight. Now Phillips will welcome Khamzat Chimaev to the UFC.

Khamzat “Borz” Chimaev
Stockholm, Sweden
Allstars Training Center
2 Submissions

How will Chimaev fare in the UFC:

There is still a lot unknown about Chimaev. Like how he will look outside the first round and once he has to go through some adversity. With that said, dispatching the likes of Sidney Wheeler and Ikram Aliskerov is impressive.

Chimaev has some background in wrestling and it has shown in his short MMA career. He times his entrances well and once he gets to the inside he’s very physical to get the fight to the mat. Chimaev is good at getting the body lock and forcing his foe down and dropping levels, elevating opponents and slamming them down. Once on top, Chimaev proves to be pretty dominant. Never staying stationary Chimaev is continuously passing guard and improving position. He stays active throwing ground and pound and when the opening is there to grab the neck he will indeed do it. On the feet, he can be reckless but has that huge stopping power in his hands. Chimaev throws everything with ill intentions whether if that’s with his striking or his kicks. He does only throw single strikes but his placement and timing are on the money. He’s extremely talented but only having six fights and never going outside the first it’s tough to tell how good he is right now.

How Chimaev matches up with Phillips:

Phillips is a brawler known for his knockout power. On paper Phillips has a striking advantage but the lack of footwork and technique don’t really make him much of a threat against better competition. Chimaev is the much cleaner striker compared to Phillips just winging hooks. The huge factor in the fight should be the wrestling advantage of Chimaev. Phillips has issues defending takedowns and he struggles off his back so that’s where Chimaev can absolutely take this fight. The pick is Chimaev as he has more upside, is much younger, and has a definitive path to victory.