Khamzat Chimaev was supposed to earn a middleweight title shot with a victory over Kamaru Usman at the UFC 294 pay-per-view (PPV) event last month in Abu Dhabi. Instead, that opportunity went to No. 2-ranked middleweight contender Dricus Du Plessis.
Undaunted by the promotion’s decision, Chimaev is now calling for a crack at the 205-pound title, currently held by Brazilian smasher Alex Pereira. “Poatan” is expected to face former champion Jamahal Hill when “Sweet Dreams” returns at some point in 2024.
Chimaev remains undefeated at 13-0 with seven straight wins inside the Octagon, five of them ending by way of knockout or submission. Unfortunately, the former welterweight has been plagued with injuries, illnesses, and other setbacks that have slowed his momentum.
Sounds like “Stillknocks” will remain ready.
“If that’s the fight, I would gladly as champion take out the boogeyman, it would be a massive pleasure,” Du Plessis told MMA Junkie. “He’s going to try and take me down, and he should. I don’t think he realizes the power difference between 170 and 185.”
“In terms of style, he tries to out-power everybody he fights because he wants to show how strong he is,” Du Plesss continued. “If he fights me and fights that way, he’s going to find out what strength really feels like.”
Du Plessis battles Strickland for the 185-pound belt at UFC 297 in Toronto.
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