After the chaos caused during the week of UFC 279, Khamzat Chimaev has certainly appeared to embrace the role of the UFC’s latest villain.
From picking a fight with Kevin Holland backstage at the UFC 279 press conference to practically gloating about coming in 7.5 pounds over the limit for his originally scheduled main event with Nate Diaz, the Chechnyan-born wrestler is more than willing to play the bad guy. Even as his short-notice fight with Kevin Holland got underway, Khamzat Chimaev seemed to employ another villainous tactic by faking a glove touch before immediately shooting on Holland and taking him to the canvas in the opening seconds.
While there is no rule that says the fighters must touch gloves, it’s considered by many to be unethical and unsportsmanlike. However, not everyone agrees with that sentiment. Former two-division UFC world champion Daniel Cormier discussed the much-maligned phantom glove touch on his YouTube channel. The UFC Hall of Famer believes it all boils down to protecting yourself in the Octagon.
“There’s no rule under which you have to touch gloves to start a fight. Chimaev gets into the Octagon, he went to touch Kevin Holland’s glove when he got in there. Kevin said, ‘No, I’m good. I’m good.’ Even in my biggest and most nasty fights, we always touched gloves. But, you could touch gloves from a distance. I would walk to the center and would extend my arm as far as it went. I’ve got a 72-inch reach so it didn’t go very far, but I tried to keep myself safe. I tried to keep myself safe. Not put myself in danger of getting to close where I get shot on.”
— MMA Junkie (@MMAJunkie) September 11, 2022
Daniel Cormier Does Not Believe Khamzat Chimaev Faked a Glove Touch at UFC 279
While most of the world was criticizing Khamzat Chimaev for the fake glove touch as he came out for his clash with Kevin Holland, Daniel Cormier does not believe it was an attempted glove touch at all.
“Now, do I think Khamzat tried to do a fake glove touch? No. I think that he feinted a punch. Hands go up, you shoot on your opponent. So, I understand that right now, he’s the bad guy, and boy, I love a bad guy. And I wish that he embraces this, but I don’t think he faked the glove touch. Even if he did, there’s no law that says that you have to touch gloves. This is a fight. This is war. The moment they say, ‘You ready? Are you ready? Let’s get it on,’ it’s a f*cking fight. We don’t have to touch gloves.
“For the entirety of that fight, 15-25 minutes, you and I are enemies. So you can’t blame him. And if someone falls for the fake glove touch, that’s on them. Protect yourself at all times. These are the last instructions you get from the official. So make him the bad guy. I think he likes it and boy, we all need a villain. The world does not work with all good guys. We need bad guys and Khamzat Chimaev is more than willing to play that.”
Whether you believe it was a fake glove touch or not, the fact remains that Khamzat Chimaev did not break any rules. Aside from the physical altercation that he instigated with Kevin Holland prior to the UFC 279 press conference and the massive weight miss. Those were clear violations that could affect his status in the welterweight division and could potentially result in a fine from the Nevada State Athletic Commission.
It’s also clear by the chorus of boos from the crowd at T-Mobile Arena on Saturday night that Khamzat Chimaev has lost a significant amount of fans. Though, that seems to be the least of his concerns at the moment.