Khamzat Chimaev may have exposed his next rival by accident. As Chimaev has been waiting to fight Kamaru Usman in the catchweight, ‘Borz’ may have a new opponent in the middleweight division.
Azamat ‘Ozzy’ Dugulubgov, who also trains Jalin Turner, was at the airport waiting to board a flight following Turner’s loss against Dan Hooker at UFC 290. Rather than wasting time while his flight was delayed, ‘Ozzy’ chose to research Chimaev’s next opponent.
Ozzy most likely went wrong in sharing a story of the same, which Khamzat Chimaev also shared. Despite the fact that Dugulubgov blurred off the fighter on his screen, internet MMA experts searched deep to uncover the right matching frame. The blurred-out competitor looks to be Jared Cannonier, an avid middleweight contender.
Its official! Jared Cannonier vs Khamzat Chimaev for UFC 294. I was able to find out the exact moment posted on the Instagram story of Jalin Turner’s coach that is supposed to be Khamzats opponent. You can see for yourself, but everything aligns even the short-term sponsors. pic.twitter.com/2OEJakP8z0— Anderson Gold🕷️ (@frontkicked) July 9, 2023
Chimaev recently listed UFC 294 as a possible return date, as well as Usman as the only potential opponent. However, Dana White has been completely ignorant of a catchweight match between the two from the start.
As per reports from MMA Mania, Chimaev has gained a significant amount of weight and muscle since his last bout at UFC 279 when he plowed through Kevin Holland, and a return to welterweight is doubtful.
Khamzat Chimaev fires back at Kamaru Usman
Khamzat Chimaev is eager to fight Kamaru Usman if the former UFC welterweight champion agrees to step up to 185 lbs.
Chimaev’s answer came after Usman addressed the possible clash during a powerful appearance at UFC 290 when he expressed his dissatisfaction with attempting to make the fantasy bout a reality.
“You know, at the end of the day, I have been — and still am — the boogeyman of this division,” Usman said. “I asked for the guy. If you want to fight — you want to be a champion — cut the f****** weight and come fight.” Usman stated. (h/t via- MMA Fighting)
Chimaev challenged Usman to a bout at middleweight rather than 170 lbs., which was presumably where the issue began with getting the fight together. Usman is undoubtedly interested in competing at 170 lbs., where he was considered one of the most dominant champions in the division’s history.
Whilst Chimaev has been pondering a move up to middleweight owing to ongoing difficulties getting down to the welterweight limit. “Kamaru Usman, why are you talking about me?” Chimaev said. “You said you want to fight [at middleweight]. The weight [is] no problem for you. You are the boogeyman but I am the wolf. Come up.” Khamzat stated in the video posted to Twitter.
According to the above statement, Chimaev and Usman are still far off on making the bout happen, especially if they disagree on the weight class.
Chimaev hasn’t fought in the UFC since September when his weight-cutting issues caused a last-minute change to his scheduled fight against Nate Diaz. Diaz chose not to face a bloated Chimaev, who weighed in at 178.5 lbs., instead facing off against Kevin Holland.