Khamzat Chimaev has taken the mixed martial arts (MMA) world by storm, but some members of the combat community are still uncertain if he’s the future of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) welterweight division.
This includes UFC superstar Jorge Masvidal, who is fully entrenched in the 170-pound weight class and looking to claw his way back to another title shot against current champion Kamaru Usman. “Gamebred” is widely regarded as one of the best welterweight fighters in the world today and someone who could end up fighting Chimaev down the road.
That said, Masvidal isn’t ready to buy into the hype that has created an aura of invincibility around Khamzat. The undefeated Chechen fighter has looked dominant at times, but Masvidal needs to see “Borz” capture more meaningful wins before he goes all in.
“I don’t think s—t of him,” said Masvidal during a recent sitdown with Logan Paul on on the IMPAULSIVE podcast. “He hasn’t fought anybody, you know. It’s like, you know, he’s got a while to go. He’s got to go fight some guys. They talk big about everybody they think they can get money from. They know that he could bring in those Arabic countries that got a lot of money. But as far as him having fun and beating guys, yeah, you know, I haven’t seen one guy yet that he’s beaten and I’m like, okay, he beat up somebody good.”
Chimaev, who is still just 27 years of age, is coming off a unanimous decision win over former UFC welterweight title challenger Gilbert Burns at UFC 273 earlier this month. Khamzat was a heavy favorite to win the high-profile bout and many people believed he’d slice through “Durinho” like butter, but the fight was extremely competitive. Chimaev ended up capturing the win to push his UFC record to 5-0, but he certainly didn’t look invincible.
Masvidal, 37, is on a completely different trajectory than Khamzat. “Gamebred” has lost his last three trips to the Octagon — albeit two of those were title fight losses to Usman — and has only defeated Nate Diaz, Ben Askren, and Darren Till since 2017. That isn’t a bulletproof track record for Masvidal, but he’s been around this sport long enough and has certainly earned the right to size up any future contender he wants.
Unfortunately for Masvidal, the future is now and Khamzat seems ready to pass everyone else in the division en route to an inevitable title fight against Usman.