Andreas Michael, the head coach of Khamzat Chimaev, has commented on the likely weight division in which his star pupil’s upcoming fight would take place. The representative of Allstars Training Center also disclosed who ‘Borz should face when he makes a comeback.
Chimaev’s unanimous decision victory over previous welterweight championship challenger Gilbert Burns in April 2022 cemented his status as a UFC welterweight title contender. The Swede, who was born in Chechnya, failed to make weight for his September 2022 welterweight match against Nate Diaz at UFC 279.
As a result, “Borz” was scheduled to face Kevin Holland at UFC 279 in a matchup at 180 pounds. The grappling whiz submitted Holland in the first round to win the catchweight battle.
Chimaev’s weight woes have led to rumours that he would next go up to middleweight. The undefeated mixed martial artist has competed in the UFC at both middleweight and welterweight.
According to Andreas Michael’s most recent interview with Submission Radio, Khamzat Chimaev would likely fight at middleweight next, ideally against Alex Pereira, the current middleweight champion of the UFC, assuming Pereira is still the champion when their fight takes place.
Nonetheless, he pointed out that if given a chance at a title challenge in that weight class, “Borz” might move back to welterweight. Michael said (*MMA Junkie provided the transcription):
“It is medium-weight. He’ll compete at middleweight. Yet, miracles can and will happen if the champion is a welterweight. Fear not; we shall bring him down.”
In addition, Khamzat Chimaev, in Andreas Michael’s opinion, merits a crack at the UFC middleweight championship or at the very least a matchup with a top-tier middleweight:
“We would choose the champion over the No. 1 contender. And I believe he deserves it.”
Khamzat Chimaev provides a potential timeline for his return
Khamzat Chimaev is currently unranked at middleweight and is in third place in the official UFC welterweight rankings. The 28-year-old has called out several competitors since his impressive victory over Kevin Holland in September of last year, including former interim UFC welterweight champion Colby Covington and former middleweight championship contender Paulo Costa.
However, Khamzat Chimaev has recently been pushing for a potential middleweight matchup with former UFC middleweight champion Robert Whittaker. The specific date of ‘Borz’s return and his subsequent fight have not yet been made public by the UFC. Having said that, he appeared to reveal his prospective comeback timeframe in a recent Instagram post.
After Ramadan, the traditional Islamic holy month of fasting and religious celebrations, Chimaev implied that his next bout will take place. The dates for Ramadan 2023 are anticipated to be from March 22 to April 22, though they could significantly change depending on where it is observed. Chimaev said: