For now, Khamzat Chimaev isn’t on Israel Adesanya’s radar.
Much has been made over the rise of Chimaev. He is 10-0 in his pro MMA career and he’s looked dominant in his UFC run thus far. “Borz” also appears to have the gift of gab and he’s taken aim at some key players on the UFC roster including Adesanya, who is the UFC Middleweight Champion.
Israel Adesanya Isn’t Focused On Chimaev … Yet
Recently, Henry Cejudo told The Schmo that he feels Chimaev can beat “The Last Stylebender” rather “easily” due to his ground control. It’s a prediction that Daniel Cormier doesn’t exactly agree with.
Appearing as a guest on The MMA Hour, Israel Adesanya told Ariel Helwani that he won’t be putting his attention on Khamzat Chimaev until the situation calls for it.
“Khamzat, I mean he’s not really relevant right now. I don’t have to take him seriously till I have to take him seriously. His last fight I was impressed with. I was like, ‘Yo that guy is good,’ but there’s levels. So, we’ll see how he does with Gilbert. He’s only fought like one middleweight fight that I’ve seen and I’m just like, ‘Who has he fought?’ He can beat a lot of middleweights, I’ll tell you that much. A lot of top-level middleweights but I don’t have to take him seriously till I have to take him seriously.”
Israel Adesanya recently had a successful UFC Middleweight Title defense against Robert Whittaker in a rematch. The two collided a second time inside the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas. The bout headlined UFC 271 and Adesanya emerged victorious via unanimous decision.
As for Chimaev, he’s reportedly set to share the Octagon with Gilbert Burns. This would be the toughest test in the young career of Chimaev. Burns is the number two-ranked UFC Welterweight and gave current 170-pound champion Kamaru Usman an early scare in their Feb. 2021 title fight.