Israel Adesanya believes that Khamzat Chimaev is a slayer at welterweight but doesn’t know if he can hang against elite middleweights.
Chimaev has made his intentions clear. He wants to hold gold in both the welterweight and middleweight divisions. He’s in for a big test at UFC 273 on April 9. He’ll meet Gilbert Burns, who challenged Kamaru Usman for the UFC Welterweight Championship and even had early success against “The Nigerian Nightmare.”
Israel Adesanya Impressed By Chimaev, Unsure About ‘185
Israel Adesanya made an appearance on Hotboxin’ with Mike Tyson and he said that while Khamzat Chimaev is a terror at welterweight, he doesn’t know if he can be as effective at middleweight (h/t MMAJunkie).
“When the dog barks at the moon, that’s normal. But when the moon barks at the dog, that’s something special, so I was like, ‘All right. This guy fights at welterweight. He’s fought at middleweight one time, and he’s fought like a low-ranked guy and definitely he can beat some middleweights.’ But I’m like, ‘Show me something.’
“Show me something like he’s never – his last fight was impressive, and I said I might not like you but if I’m impressed by what you do, I’ll give you props. He’s a beast, but he’s a beast at 170.”
Adesanya is the reigning UFC Middleweight Champion. He last competed back in February. He had a successful title defense, defeating Robert Whittaker via unanimous decision in their rematch. Many expect his next title challenger to be Jared Cannonier after UFC President Dana White’s vote of confidence in the 185-pounder.