Daniel Cormier Unsure Khamzat Chimaev Can Regain the Mometum He’s Lost: ‘It’ll Be Very Difficult For Him’

Cormier suggested that 'Borz' may have flown a little "too close to the sun" with his hot start inside the Octagon

Khamzat Chimaev
Courtesy of @UFCNews on X

Khamzat Chimaev is far removed from his days as a UFC prospect that would beat the sh*t out of fighters every other week. 

‘Borz’ has been toying with title contention ever since his impressive three-round performance against Gilbert Burns in April 2022. Unfortunately, the undefeated Chechen’s appearances since then have been few and far between. In fact, he’s only competed twice in the last two years, beating Kevin Holland in a revamped co-main event at UFC 279 before besting Kamaru Usman via majority decision last October. 

Chimaev was scheduled to square off with Robert Whittaker in the UFC Saudi Arabia headliner on June 29—a fight that had title eliminator written all over it—but days before the bout, ‘Borz’ was forced to withdraw after becoming “violently ill.” 

During a recent episode of Good Guy/Bad Guy with co-host Chael Sonnen, former two-division titleholder Daniel Cormier questioned whether or not Chimaev flew a little “too close to the sun” with his ridiculously hot start. 

“I always wonder if a guy can ride too hot when they first start, can you fly too close to the sun? Because when Khamzat Chimaev started right, he was on Fight Island, he fought twice in one week, looked amazing, went to the Apex, and knocked out Gerald Meerschaert. He was so hot that everybody just thought he was going to be the greatest fighter, he can finish anyone, he was doing his thing at a level that I don’t know is even sustainable. 

“And then he goes in there with Kamaru Usman, who is a former champion, and for him to win at this stage in his career is a massive accomplishment, even though Usman took the fight on short notice. But, it felt like because of the decision, after what he did to Li Jingliang, how he picked him up and slammed him and was talking to Dana the whole time, it seemed like in that victory, he lost a little bit of the lore that he had built around himself.”

Can Khamzat Chimaev Still Live Up to the Hype?

When Chimaev first stepped into the Octagon, he immediately established himself as the next big thing with three wins in the span of seven weeks, including victories over John Philips, Rhys McKee, and Gerald Meerschaert—the first two coming a mere week apart. 

Continuing his thought, ‘DC’ suggested that maybe because of his impressive intro, it has become impossible for Chimaev to live up to the hype. 

“So then it leads me to this, did he fly too hot Chael, was he too close to the sun, and now, it’ll be very difficult for him to reach the level of superstardom that we all expected from Khamzat Chimaev,” Cormier added.             

Published on June 18, 2024 at 9:06 pm
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