Who Could Khamzat Chimaev Fight In The Near Future?
The UFC is already making big plans for Khamzat Chimaev.
Chimaev turned plenty of heads with his first 10 days under the UFC banner. That’s because, in that span, he had two fights. In his first UFC outing back on July 15, he scored a second-round submission victory over John Phillips. He followed that up with a first-round TKO finish over Rhys McKee on July 25.
UFC President Dana White had hopes of booking Chimaev on the UFC 252 card back on August 15. That was a bit too soon for the welterweight born in Chechnya and fighting out of Sweden. He needed to get the proper documents to compete in the U.S. but now his visa is cleared.
Speaking to reporters during a news conference, White said he’s looking to book Chimaev in a bout inside the UFC APEX in Las Vegas before sending him back to “Fight Island” (h/t MMAJunkie.com).
“I think he gets here this weekend,” White said. “… He’ll fight here and he’ll fight on ‘Fight Island.’ This guy wants to (fight). I love that mentality.”
White went on to say that there’s a chance that Chimaev could do battle with Brazilian jiu-jitsu wizard Demian Maia.
“We’re working on a fight for him here that’s still being worked,” White said. “We’re talking about him and Demian Maia on ‘Fight Island.’”
The plan as of now is to have Chimaev compete on the September 19 card. Combate’s Raphael Marinho is reporting that Chimaev vs. Gerald Meerschaert is in the works for that event. If Chimaev emerges victorious, then it’s off to the races with the Maia fight.
Maia has gone 3-1 in his last four outings. He is looking to rebound from his last fight, which ended in a first-round TKO defeat at the hands of Gilbert Burns, who is reportedly set to compete for the welterweight title at UFC 256.