If there was one breakout star for the UFC in the month of July, it was Khamzat Chimaev.
Fighting twice during the promotion’s stint on Fight Island, Chimaev instantly drew comparisons to Khabib Nurmagomedov. For his dominant grappling ability, and desire to “smash” opponents.
No question, Chimaev, who trains alongside the likes to Alexander Gustafsson and Ilir Latifi in Sweden, is poised to do big things in the UFC. And following a second win in 10 days at UFC Fight Island 3, he is absolutely on the radar.
So how does that all feel? “Good, brother. Amazing,” Chimaev (8-0) told Cageside Press following the bout.
His latest performance was a first round TKO of Rhys McKee. McKee was making his promotional debut, but the British fighter is no slouch. He’d found a lot of success in Cage Warriors and BAMMA. Chimaev made minced meat out of him.
“Everything was like my coach said. Coach said take him down, smash him, beat him in the first round. I did it,” Chimaev answered when asked about how the fight played out.
Despite being only two fights into his UFC career, the broadcast booth was already talking title shot for Chimaev. Having him fight Kamaru Usman. “I’m ready for that, I want to take this belt,” Chimaev said when asked how crazy it was to have a title shot suggested so soon into his career. “I want to beat everybody. I’m ready for that. I worked hard for that. No body works like me,” he told us.
“I want to be number one in the division,” he later added.
Maybe even a second division. When it comes to middleweight, where Chimaev actually made his debut, that could be an option as well. Of course, the dangerous Israel Adesanya lurks there. “I know he’s a better striker than me,” said the fighter known as “Borz.” But wrestling, he added, well that would be another matter.