Anthony Smith Thinks Khamzat Chimaev Can Only Beat ‘Anybody Across Any Weight Class’ In ‘First Round’

"Lionheart" is certain "Borz" could beat anybody put in front of him but only in the opening round.

Anthony Smith Talks Khamzat Chimaev
Anthony Smith Talks Khamzat Chimaev - Image credit @khamzat_chimaev Instagram @Michael Bisping Podcast Youtube
  • Anthony Smith believes Khamzat Chimaev can beat or finish anybody in the first round
  • “Lionheart” shared his Robert Whittaker vs. “Borz” prediction

Anthony Smith doesn’t doubt Khamzat Chimaev’s ability to finish anybody as long as it doesn’t go beyond the first round.

Khamzat is most dangerous in the first five minutes

Speaking on his Believe You Me podcast with Michael Bisping, “Lionheart” made a bold claim based on how “Borz” performs in the opening rounds of his previous fights. The way Smith sees it, Chimaev is the best and most dangerous fighter in the world as far as first round goes.

“I’m a real big believer in Khamzat, I really am,” Smith said. “I think the guy’s incredible. But if we’re just being critical, first round. I think Khamzat can beat anybody across any weight class, I don’t give a sh*t who it is. Anybody in the world, he can beat in the first round. [But] We start getting into the second, third, fourth, fifth [round], the Gilbert Burns fight is a perfect example. If that fight goes another two rounds, (it’s hard to tell). [But] First round, monster. Absolutely.”

Smith’s UFC Saudi prediction

While Smith is convinced that Chimaev could take anybody out in the first few minutes of the fight, he is not sure about how things would play out when “Borz” faces Robert Whittaker at UFC Saudi. For “Lionheart,” Whittaker’s cardio and durability are huge factors in the fight and Chimaev clearly doesn’t have the stamina to go five rounds.

That said, Smith predicted that the former middleweight champion would have the advantage if the fight last longer.

“Whittaker won’t get tired, and that’s my sticking point,” Smith said. “If he can do lots of big damage early in the first round, second round, and kind of compromise Whittaker early, then I think he can cruise. If he paces himself early, now he’s not the Khamzat we’re used to. He’s not as effective. So I don’t know. I hate to say it, but I lean Whittaker.”

True to form, Whittaker revealed that he plans to capitalize on his cardio and keep the fight on the feet as much as possible. Both fighters expect to secure a big win with the winner likely to get a guaranteed title shot.

As it stands, Chimaev is coming off a decision win over Kamaru Usman at UFC 294, while Whittaker was able to secure a dominant victory over Paulo Costa at UFC 298.

Watch Smith’s full podcast episode below:


Published on May 18, 2024 at 11:31 am
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