Anthony Smith was surprised that Kamaru Usman called out Khamzat Chimaev.
After Usman suffered a KO loss to Leon Edwards to lose his title and then dropped a decision in the trilogy, many expected him to retire from MMA. ‘The Nigerian Nightmare’ is 36 years old but has dealt with knee issues for a long time, yet he shut down retirement talk and called out Chimaev which surprised Smith.
“It’s a bold move, for sure. It says a lot about where he is mentally because I think a lot of people were kind of writing him off just a little bit and saying, ‘Oh, he’s done. He’s probably just gonna kind of fade off into retirement.’ But him wanting to fight Khamzat is the total opposite of that,” Smith said on Michael Bisping’s Believe You Me Podcast. “That’s a tough fight for Kamaru if I’m just being very honest and fair with my analysis. I think what he does well kind of fits right into Khamzat’s game. I think maybe a younger less beat-up Kamaru, I think that fight’s a little bit different. He’s not as much of a wrestler as he used to be. He used to chase the takedown relentlessly. I don’t think he even has the capability to really do that anymore just with his knees and some of that stuff… I think it’s ballsy because of the style matchup. Just the mentality to want to do that.”
Bisping says Chimaev is a ‘Tough Fight’ for Usman
As of right now, Kamaru Usman vs. Khamzat Chimaev is not booked, if it does happen, Michael Bisping agrees with Anthony Smith that it is a ballsy fight. But, he also thinks it’s a tough matchup for the former champ due to Chiamev’s power.
“I think Khamzat naturally is the bigger guy. Wrestling will at least counter one another and make it a non-thing or Khamzat will probably be the more explosive, bigger, stronger, and potentially a better wrestler because of the age. He hits hard as well so it’s a really tough fight and a ballsy fight,” Bisping added.
However, if the fight does get made and Usman surprises Bisping and Smith and wins, he would be right back in the mix to fight for the belt.