Former UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman might very well welcome Khamzat Chimaev into the biggest fight of his career. Usman, who seems to be desperate to get back to winning ways, recently made a bold prediction for their potential clash.
It all started around mid-May when the Russian set his eyes on Kamaru. In a tweet that only mentioned Kamaru’s name, Chimaev put a checkmark next to it. The Nigerian-born immediately responded back with three smirk emojis. While this appeared to have sent fans into a frenzy, nothing is official as of yet. However, fans do believe the duo will meet soon in the cage.
Kamaru Usman has responded to Khamzat Chimaev’s tweet 👀 pic.twitter.com/7WGcCUsre4
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) May 12, 2023
Usman suffered his first knockout loss at the hands of Leon Edwards at UFC 278. Followed by this, he suffered a decisive loss during their rubber match. Fans consider the Texas resident to be one of the welterweight GOATS. But he will certainly have to secure multiple wins to push himself back into title contention at 170 lbs.
Recently, ‘The Nigerian Nightmare’ urged fans to “watch the tapes” as he promised a finish of the undefeated rising star. In the same tweet, Usman also vowed to finish the extremely powerful Russian within four rounds via stoppage.
I stop him in 4. Watch the tapes 😤😤
— KAMARU USMAN (@USMAN84kg) May 18, 2023
Unfortunately, the future of ‘Borz‘ in the division looks in jeopardy. Ahead of his scheduled bout with Nate Diaz, Chimaev missed weight by a large margin. This led to the promotion forcing the undefeated star to move up to middleweight.
Though Khamzat still plans to capture the 170 lbs belt, he has previously competed at 185 lbs on two occasions. Kamaru Usman is a lifelong welterweight and has found tremendous success in the Las Vegas-based promotion. Right from winning TUF 21 to his 15-fight win streak, his Octagon outings will go down as one of the greatest runs in the company’s history.
When will Khamzat Chimaev potentially return?
As for the Russian-born Swede, Khamzat Chimaev seems to have locked the target on his next potential opponent. Being a devout Muslim, fans anticipated the 29-year-old to be a no-show during this year’s holy month of Ramadan. Now that the festivities are out of the way, Chimaev can’t wait to step back into the cage.
During the UFC 286 post-fight presser in London, President Dana White told reporters that Khamzat will make his next appearance in October. Although he never confirmed a date or a place, last month the promotion announced UFC 294 will be taking place in Abu Dhabi. Fans strongly believe ‘Borz’ will make an appearance on the main card of the Etihad Arena event.
‘Borz’ has a strong affinity with the capital, as several of his UFC fights have taken place there. He also made his explosive debut during the inaugural Fight Island in July 2020. Chimaev is even expecting to see Andrew Tate ringside in the potential October showdown.
It’s official – we’re headed back to Abu Dhabi in October for #UFC294!!
— UFC (@ufc) March 16, 2023
In terms of what weight class Khamzat could return to, the MMA world believes middleweight might be the best option for Khamzat. Kamaru is open to either weight class, should the two meet. In a recent interview with ESPN, Usman expressed his willingness to fight Chimaev, since Edwards will be taking on Colby Covington next.
“A fight with myself and Khamzat? Boom,” said Usman. “I fight these guys’ heart, not their weight. I’ve been able to deal with middleweights in the gym and sometimes light heavyweights in the gym.”
“If he wants a shot at the welterweight strap, you kind of have to give a little bit and show I can get down here. If he’s able to do it, yeah potentially. And if it’s up at a weight, yeah potentially, as well,” Kamaru concluded.
Regardless of when the two meet, fans look forward to how an elite grappler like Khamzat Chimaev takes on a world-class wrestler like Kamaru. Who do you think gets the W in this one? Do let us know in the comments down below.