The head coach for Israel Adesanya, Eugene Bareman is not convinced that Khamzat Chimaev should be next.
This past weekend, UFC 287 saw Israel Adesanya once again become the champion of the UFC middleweight division. Immediately following his win Adesanya begin hearing callouts from other fighters in the division. One man who is perhaps calling the loudest is Khamzat Chimaev. Chimaev has been very vocal about getting a title shot in his next bout, either at welterweight or middleweight. However, there are those who believe he is not worthy of a shot at Adesanya quite yet.
For the majority of Chimaev‘s UFC career, he fought in the welterweight division. He did have a few bouts at catchweight but now after missing weight his last time out, president Dana White has urged him to stay at middleweight. He is one of the most popular fighters on the roster at this point but Adesanya‘s head coach Eugene Bareman believes that title shots should be granted off wins, not popularity.
Eugene Bareman believes Khamzat Chimaev jumping the line at middleweight would devalue the whole organization
Eugene Bareman is one of the most accomplished coaches in all of MMA. As the main coach for City Kickboxing in New Zealand, he is the main coach for several UFC fighters including Adesanya, Dan Hooker, and more. He does not believe that Chimaev has earned the right to face Adesanya at middleweight and he spoke about this with Submission Radio.
“Has Khamzat fought at middleweight yet?” he said. “This is the most prestigious title in the sport. Okay? Sometimes business takes precedence, I understand that but you’re gonna give a guy a title shot, but you’re just devaluing the organization, you’re devaluing the sport. You’re devaluing everything that we’ve stood for in terms of the middleweight title and what we’ve done, what Anderson’s done, what GSP done, what Bisping had done when he won the title. You’re just devaluing all of that.”
Bareman did state what he believes Chimaev should do in order to earn himself this title shot. He wants him to show what he can do at middleweight with at least three wins at 185 pounds. There have been rumors of Chimaev booking a fight with Paulo Costa however that is not yet official and it seems perhaps that it may not be booked at all. The UFC and White are very high on Chimaev and perhaps would allow him to jump the line. It is unclear if Adesanya would accept this bout.