It’s the same old story for Khamzat Chimaev no matter how high he moves up the rankings: he wants to stay extremely busy, but no one wants to fight the fiesty Chechen powerhouse.
Chimaev is now 12-0 MMA (6-0 UFC) and ranked No. 3 at Welterweight. But, after missing weight badly for his last bout at UFC 279, there’s a question as to whether he’ll stay at 170 pounds or move up to Middleweight. For “Borz” it’s really about where he can find someone who’ll actually sign on the dotted line to scrap.
“It doesn’t matter [if it’s 170 or 185], just need some opponent,” he said in a video blog from Dubai. “I’m tired to do it, the trash talking. This is not my game. I am the next for the title, so ... who are these guys gonna fight?”
Despite it not being his game, Chimaev does have a gift for tearing down potential opponents. He made it clear that he still wanted a piece of newly-minted Middleweight champion, Alex Pereira, who is expected to rematch Israel Adesanya sometime in early 2023.
“Alex Pereira, he has 6-1 record, he’s lost,” Chimaev said. “I’ve never lost in my life. And he lost to a s— guy, the guy isn’t in the UFC as well. UFC doesn’t want it, the guy don’t want it. What am I gonna do? I just wanna fight, give me somebody. If the guys run away from me, just give me somebody.”
Khamzat’s video showed what looks like a camp in full swing, and he confirmed he was training as if he had a fight signed ... even though he doesn't.
“Nobody wants to fight,” he barked. “F— these boys. They gave me four different countries, four different opponents, nobody want to fight.
“Training camp, brother! Gonna fight somebody. I don’t know who,” he continued. “They change your opponents all day, all the time. So every week, I has new opponent. But nobody want to fight. The guys speak a lot of trash talk, a lot of about me. ‘I want to fight you! I want to fight you!’ But when it comes to the fight and sign the contract, they want to run away.
“I’m always ready,” he concluded. “We’ll see what’s gonna happen now. I think it will be, I hope so, Vegas, March. We’ll see, but I don’t know who.”
UFC hasn’t made it a secret that its hoping to set up Khamzat Chimaev vs. Colby Covington, but we’ve heard very little from “Chaos” and his team regarding that possibility. We bet “Chaos” is one of the several fighters Chimaev is talking about when he says no one will sign to fight him. With two weight classes in play, hopefully there’s enough options at the top of the divisions to lock up something worthy for “Borz” to train hard for in 2023.