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Israel Adesanya on a Khamzat Chimaev fight: ‘He’s not really relevant right now’

Khamzat Chimaev’s confidence is on another planet. “Borz” has extended his callouts as far as the Diaz brothers to Brock Lesnar, and most recently, Israel Adesanya.

At UFC 271 this past Saturday night (Feb. 12, 2022), Adesanya defended his 185-pound title in a rematch with former 185-pound kingpin, Robert Whittaker. The Nigeria native would secure his fourth official title defense, earning the unanimous judges’ call. Immediately after seeing the performance, Chimaev declared on social media that “The Last Stylebender” is “easy money.”

Whether or not the two actually ever end up meeting inside the Octagon remains to be seen.

“He’s not really relevant right now,” Adesanya said on The MMA Hour. “I don’t have to take him seriously until I have to take him seriously. His last fight I was impressed with. I was like, ‘Yo, that guy’s good.’ But, there’s levels. So we’ll see how he does with Gilbert [Burns]. And he’s only fought like one Middleweight fight that I’ve seen and I’m just like who’s he fought? He can beat a lot of Middleweights, I'll tell ya that much. A lot of top-level Middleweights. But I don’t have to take him seriously until I have to take him seriously. And I feel like it’s gonna be the same thing with how [Paulo] Costa got set up.”

Chimaev is off to a flawless (4-0) start in his still-young UFC career. Undefeated (10-0) overall, the Sweden resident has only absorbed two strikes in his four combined outings, finishing all of his opponents splitting time at Middleweight and Welterweight. Despite the options that Chimaev has, he appears to be primarily sticking with 170 pounds, where he’s currently in pursuit of a match up with Gilbert Burns.

UFC 267 in Oct. 2021 acted as Chimaev’s last time out when taking out his first ranked opponent in China’s Li Jingliang. As for Adesanya, it seems he’ll next be defending against a fellow winner from UFC 271, Jared Cannonier, who knocked out Derek Brunson in violent fashion (watch highlights).

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