After defeating Kevin Holland in September of last year, Khamzat Chimaev started pleading with the UFC to assign him his following opponent as soon as possible. The UFC hasn’t yet revealed the Chechen-born Swedish fighter’s return date or opponent, despite his want to compete again soon.
The 28-year-old Chimaev now occupies position No. 3 in the UFC’s official welterweight rankings. Yet the truth remains that he failed to make weight for his scheduled welterweight (170-pound) fight with Nate Diaz in September, forcing a rematch against Holland at a catchweight of 180 pounds.
On that topic, there has been much talk about Chimaev perhaps moving on from welterweight and moving back to the middleweight (185-pound) division for his next fight.
He has often called out former UFC interim welterweight champion Colby Covington. Also, ‘Borz’ recently stated on Instagram that his ideal opponent would be former UFC middleweight champion Robert Whittaker. Many predict that if the Chimaev-Whittaker fight happens, it will take place at middleweight.
In addition, before making the aforementioned Instagram post, Khamzat Chimaev told Red Corner MMA that his next opponent would probably be Robert Whittaker. The Reaper then reacted and appeared amenable to a potential fight with Chimaev.
A closer look at Khamzat Chimaev’s dominant UFC run
Khamzat Chimaev made his professional MMA debut in May 2018, after successfully navigating the waters of amateur wrestling in Russia and afterwards in Sweden for several years. Before making his UFC debut on July 16, 2020, against John Phillips in a middleweight match, the grappling prodigy established a 6-0 record.
Phillips was submitted in the second round, and Chimaev won. Ten days after his first UFC fight, on July 26, he defeated Rhys McKee by first-round TKO in a welterweight contest. In the UFC’s contemporary era, “Borz” holds the record for the quickest turnaround between two straight fights.
After that, in September 2020, Chimaev competed as a middleweight and defeated Gerald Meerschaert after only 17 seconds of the first round.
Following the three victories, Khamzat Chimaev faced difficult times as he fought COVID-19 for an extended period of time and even declared his retirement from mixed martial arts. Happily, he eventually made a full recovery.
Returning, “Borz” defeated Li Jingliang by first-round submission in October 2021 and Gilbert Burns by a razor-thin unanimous decision in April 2022, both in fights at welterweight.
Moreover, “Borz” just defeated Kevin Holland through first-round submission in a 180-pound catchweight match in September 2022. Chimaev, who is unbeaten (12-0 MMA, 6-0 UFC), has stated repeatedly that he wants to win UFC belts at welterweight, middleweight, and perhaps even light heavyweight (205 pounds).