Stephen Thompson Says Khamzat Chimaev Shouldn’t Go For The Title, Yet

The No. 5 ranked welterweight, Stephen Thompson, thinks that one of the most fast-rising stars of the UFC Khamzat Chimaev is the real deal, but does not deserve to fight for the title.

Chimaev’s last appearance was at UFC 268 where he earned another first-round finish against Li Jingliang, a former No. 11 ranked contender. Chimaev was not punched during the fight.

He already fought four times in the UFC and was punched only once.

“Right now? No, I don’t agree with it. I don’t agree with it. There are some guys that he could be facing before that next step up for sure. We’ll see,” Thompson told MMA News.

“Yeah, I don’t agree with him going straight for the title, but I do agree with him moving up significantly for sure.”

Thompson thinks that the welterweight division should be ready for a storm called “Borz” – Chimaev’s nickname — but he should fight with some other higher-ranked contenders and not with the current champion Kamaru Usman.

There are different thoughts for a future match-up for Chimaev.

People think he should fight with Gilbert Burns or Colby Covington before fighting for the title because he has never faced a top grappler.

The only fight he had with a grappler was his third bout against Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt Gerald Meeschaert, which ended in 17 seconds via brutal KO punch. But fans did not witness any grappling exchanges on the ground.

“God, he looked great this past weekend, Khamzat. Smashed him. That’s what he does: He smashed. Took him down—and it was pretty crazy how he picked him up,” Thompson said. “… Anybody in the top 10 has gotta watch out for this guy because he’s like the Khabib in the welterweight division, for sure.”

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