Michael Bisping believes Khamzat Chimaev might be the new UFC villain.
When it comes to the UFC and relationships between fighters and fan, it seems as if fans either love a fighter or hates them. There is very little in between in the fight game and honestly, both relationships work. There have to be the bad guys to offset the good guys and in a certain case, some fighters can go from one to the other, that is the case with Khamzat Chimaev.
This past weekend, Khamzat Chimaev was coming into this biggest fight ever. He was slated to face Nate Diaz in the main event of UFC 279, but in the leadup to the event he missed weight. Chimaev came in seven and a half pounds over the welterweight limit. The fight was scrapped and Tony Ferguson jumped in against Diaz instead. Immediately fans were furious, but it seemed as if Chimaev was not sorry at all, he began making light of the situation afterward. Michael Bisping, a longtime fighter and now analyst of the sport thinks that this incident was the perfect transition for Chimaev as a villain in the UFC. He spoke about this fact on his YouTube channel.
“People want to see people go out there, the fighters go out there and make weight. He didn’t make weight, he blamed it on the doctor stopping him but ultimately, he’s accountable,” Bisping said. “But then afterward, he didn’t give a sh-t, and then he’s flipping off the crowd and he’s talking sh-t and he’s talking about killing people, left, right, and center. Listen, I absolutely love it. I do. It brings a lot of controversy. It brings eyeballs. And it’s very, very polarizing.”
Michael Bisping thinks Khamzat Chimaev is a perfect bad guy in the UFC
Chimaev took his new ‘bad guy’ image and ran with it during and after the event. He faced Kevin Holland at middleweight on Saturday night and defeated him without a problem. On one day’s notice, he submitted Holland in the first round and didn’t even absorb a single strike. After on the microphone, he continued his terror reign but called out anyone and everyone.
“If you’re a mixed martial artist, if you’re a fighter, a boxer, pretty much anything in any walk of life, you kind of want to be polarizing, but certainly in combat sports. If you could walk out there, and ultimately have half the crowd cheering that’s what you want, and half booing. That’s the perfect scenario” Bisping said. “Last thing you want to do is walk out there and there’s a little golf clap and they’re indifferent and they don’t really care. Well out there, Saturday night, there was 95% of the crowd wanting Chimaev to get his head popped off because people aren’t liking him. He’s a legit bad guy. He’s straight out of a Bond movie the way he looks, the way he talks, the look, the lip, everything all about him. But then, of course, the way that he fights inside the Octagon. I mean, the man is absolutely terrifying.”
Coming into the fight with Diaz it seemed pretty certain that Chimaev would receive the next title shot with a win., Now there is uncertainty. Having missed weight might mean a move to middleweight could be in his near future. Either way, Chimaev is still on a winning streak and still one of the most popular fighters in the UFC at this time. He will no doubt be fighting for a UFC title soon, either at 170 or 185 pounds.