Israel Adesanya Unphazed by ‘Rat lip’ Khamzat Chimaev: “I Don’t Even Know the Guy”

UFC Middleweight champion Israel Adesanya is unimpressed by surging newcomer Khamzat Chimaev, stating he's faced low level competition.

Israel Adesanya, via @Stylebender on Instagram
Israel Adesanya, via @Stylebender on Instagram

Khamzat Chimaev is winning over fans with his exciting style. As an exciting young prospect, Chimaev has three finish victories in three months, with three performance bonuses to match. Of course, fans all aboard the hype train and UFC President Dana White is buying into Khamzat mania. However, UFC Middleweight champion Israel Adesanya isn’t ready to deem Khamzat Chimeav as a legitimate threat. And that facing low-level competition isn’t enough to garner the interests of champions in the UFC. 

Continuing to Impress 

Chimaev continues to impress throughout the course of his young career. In just three fights, Khamzat has 196 strikes landed, 3 finishes, and has only been struck twice. Fans of the sport wondered if Chimaev was a legitimate contender, or if he was a hype train that the sport always seems to find. Before anyone could make up their mind, a lighting strike of a right hand sent Gerald Meerschaert to the canvas. 

Adesanya on Khamzat Chimaev

Afterward, he said that he would finish UFC champions Kamaru Usman and Israel Adesanya if he had the opportunity to face them. While the hype train is real, Adesanya isn’t buying Chimaev stock. He spoke to the media about Khamzat and his rise to popularity.

“I don’t even know the guy, I haven’t seen his fights yet,” Adesanya explained to Kevin Iole of Yahoo Sports. “I saw the presser and he was just talking shit. He was just casting his net. Have you seen him fight? Rat lip? Meh … Tim said he fought low level competition. So he thinks I’m an easy fight … that’s interesting. I mean, everyone does this when they’re coming up, casting the net wide. Yeah, keep casting.”

UFC legends like Daniel Cormier already believe that it’s time to give Khamzat a title shot. Many people believe the type. But a champion like Adesanya knows what it takes to get to the top and stay there. In that aspect, Chimaev is a long journey away. 

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