If you weren’t already aboard the Khamzat Chimaev hype train, you probably should be after Saturday night. The surging welterweight/middleweight prospect improved to 9-0, all via finishes. Three of those have now come in the UFC octagon, the most recent against Gerald Meerschaert at UFC Vegas 11.
It’s hard to write much about the fight itself, because there just wasn’t much of a fight period. While Chimaev officially threw four strikes, the bout was a one-punch affair, with a right hand dropping Meerschaert at the seventeen second mark.
The bottom line: Meerschaert won, won big, and showed he has skills on the feet. He also put an end to a fight that had become a bit of a grudge match. But asked post-fight following the win if he had gone in angry, Chimaev explained that “I’m always angry, to smash somebody, knock him out like I did now. But nothing personal, it’s sport.”
In Chimaev’s opinion, Meerschaert didn’t want to be in the cage there with him. Perhaps that’s why he was willing to take a different approach in the fight. Admittedly, Chimaev decided he wanted to show his stand-up on Saturday.
“Yeah, because everybody say you’re Khabib, Khabib #2, something like that. But I’m Khamzat,” Chimaev said as to why he wanted to showcase his boxing. Of course, the Khabib comparisons are meant to be complimentary, but Khamzat Chimaev clearly doesn’t see them that way. “I can knock out people, submit the people, smash the people, everything. I have everything.”
The much-talked about Demian Maia fight remains on the radar after UFC Vegas 11. Chimaev was infamously double booked, with Dana White promising both the Meerschaert fight, and a crack at the grappling ace. Chimaev isn’t sure when the fight will happen, but he’s still interested.
“He has the best jiu-jitsu in MMA. If I stop him, choke him out, I have the best jiu-jitsu in MMA,” he suggested. But it’s not just Maia he’s after. Repeating a line he has used consistently, Chimaev said “I’m ready for everybody. Like I said to Dana, if you give me Damien Maia, I’m ready for him. If they give me Brock Lesnar, I’m ready for him also.”
One fight that doesn’t seem to interest him, however, is Kevin Holland. The pair had a brief confrontation at the fighter hotel earlier in the week. Saturday, Holland won a split decision over Darren Stewart. Chimaev did not seem impressed.
“You seen his fight? What is it, decision yeah?” he questioned. “I smash people, I knock out people. What he do? It’s not Kung-Fu here. It’s real fighting.”
Watch the full UFC Vegas 11 post-fight press conference with Khamzat Chimaev above.