Khamzat Chimaev is ready to do what he does best.
Sweden’s “Borz” is creeping up on one full year since last competing inside the Octagon at UFC 279 in Sept. 2022. In doing so, he continued his dominant winning ways via first round d’arce choke submission against Kevin Holland (watch highlights), adding a 12th victory to his undefeated career.
Chimaev’s weight has been a big talking point in the months that followed his last appearance. His ridiculous 7.5-pound miss of the 171-pound Welterweight limit has left UFC President, Dana White, imploring the top contender to return to Middleweight. Meanwhile, interest has developed from the former Welterweight champion, Kamaru Usman, for a date with Chimaev.
According to the 29-year-old phenom, the promotion is targeting a return at UFC 294 on Oct. 21, 2023, in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, for his comeback.
“UFC told us we have a fight in Abu Dhabi, so that’s what I’m waiting for,” Chimaev said on his YouTube channel (h/t MMA Fighting). “I’m already here in Dubai, living here, training camp, everything is good, so I’ve been in shape a long time ago. I’ve been in Thailand training camp, I’ve been here training camp, I’ve been in Sweden training, so just waiting for the opponent and the contract, so we’ll see what’s going to happen.
“Usman wants to fight. I’ll make it his last fight,” he continued. “He wants money, he knows where the money is. Everyone knows the money. Now I’m going to fight this guy in Abu Dhabi and smash his face, finish him, then they have to give me that title shot.”
White has already shut down the idea of Chimaev vs. Usman as a Catchweight contest somewhere between the 170- and 185-pound divisions. Therefore, an Usman division change would theoretically have to be in the cards as well. Despite his willingness to pursue gold at Middleweight rather than Welterweight (where he’s the No. 4-ranked contender), Chimaev hasn’t closed the door on the division and believes he’s “the biggest name without a belt.”
“I want to say to Usman,” Chimaev said. “I am ready, just sign the contract. Let’s fight. Let’s make money. You want the money, you want the money fight, let’s go. I’m going to squeeze your head off. [Weight class] it doesn’t matter, let’s go, let’s fight. The weight classes, if you feel the best, you don’t need to speak about weight class. I feel the best, for me it doesn’t matter, I cut on fight night to  or , all weight classes. I’m the king.”