‘Triple C’ Henry Cejudo sees big things in the future for new UFC lightweight champion Islam Makhachev.
The protege of Khabib Nurmagomedov scored the biggest win of his career at UFC 280, submitting the most prolific finisher in the promotion’s history, Charles Oliveira, to capture his first UFC title. Now as the king of the lightweight division, Islam Makhachev will gun for the No. 1 pound-for-pound ranking. The Dagestani destroyer is slated to face reigning featherweight champion and top P4P-ranked fighter Alexander Volkanovski when the promotion heads to the land down under in February.
Speaking to Helen Yee of Helen Yee Sports on YouTube, former two-division UFC champion Henry Cejudo shared his thoughts on the career trajectory of Makhachev, including his potential for two-division glory in the future.
“Yeah, I see him being a double [champion]. Just as dominant as Khabib and I can see him becoming a two-division champion if Kamaru Usman’s not up there because I don’t think they would fight each other, but I don’t know how many years Kamaru Usman has planned. I know that whoever ends up snatching about 170… Islam’s next and he’s gonna snatch that title too.”
Nothing but respect 🤝
— UFC (@ufc) October 23, 2022
Henry Cejudo is Not Impressed With Khamzat Chimaev’s Wrestling Acumen
As an Olympic gold medalist, Henry Cejudo knows a thing or two about what it takes to be a great wrestler. Taking aim at controversial undefeated welterweight Khamzat Chimaev, ‘Triple C’ was very matter-of-fact regarding his feelings towards Chimaev’s wrestling acumen.
“You know what, I used to with Khamzat. I think if Kamaru does leave, I can see Khamzat maybe getting about at 170, but I don’t know if he could make the weight. You being eight pounds over and then not having the ability to really take down Gilbert Burns as I thought he would, but my mind changed with Khamzat. And it’s okay because I’m allowed to change my mind. Plus having guys like Bo Nickal come in with real wrestling, with real accolades. Not just being a Swedish national champ.
“Khamzat was never at the Olympic level. Just a good wrestler and believes in his stuff, but I’ve never heard of him. When you get somebody at the level… When you’re at the highest level, you hear about these guys, you see what I’m saying? I don’t know, dude. I think the toughest fights for a guy like Khamzat, I still do believe he could beat a guy like Israel [Adesanya], but he has to get to him first. I think the toughest matchup for someone like Khamzat is Robert Whittaker. Robert Whittaker is the toughest matchup for anybody at 185 pounds.”
Say what you will about Khamzat Chimaev’s overall skill or his recent shenanigans that threw UFC 279 into complete chaos, the fact remains that the Chechen-born star is undefeated in his professional MMA career. Sitting at 12-0, Chimaev has scored six wins via submission and another five by way of knockout. Though doubt has been cast on his ability to consistently hit the 170-pound mark, Dana White confirmed he will give Chimaev one more opportunity at welterweight before forcing a move to middleweight.