Khamzat Chimaev is back in Sweden and preparing for a potential clash with former UFC welterweight world champion Kamaru Usman.
‘Borz’ has not been seen inside the Octagon since a September 2022 shellacking of Kevin Holland at UFC 279. The first-round submission over Holland moved him to 12-0 in his mixed martial arts career, but a massive weight miss heading into his previously scheduled main event matchup with Nate Diaz left the promotion in a precarious position. Do they let Chimaev continue to compete at welterweight, risking further weigh-in mishaps, or do they force a move to middleweight?
Nearly a year later, that question still remains relatively unanswered, but we may finally have an answer in the coming months as Chimaev is expected to make his return at UFC 294 when the promotion heads back to Abu Dhabi. As far as who he will be fighting, that remains to be seen, but according to the man himself, a scrap with ‘The Nigerian Nightmare‘ is still in the cards.
Khamzat Still Eyeing Catchweight Showdown with Kamaru Usman in Abu Dhabi
“We train as usual here in Stockholm,” Khamzat Chimaev told Expressen during a recent interview. “We were in Dubai for training camp but came back now. Then, a month before the match, we will go to Abu Dhabi. But otherwise, we train as usual here in Stockholm. We are ready for the match.
“It could be (Kamaru) Usman, 90 percent,” Khamzat Chimaev explained. “But he’s talking about two kilos. He doesn’t want to gain two kilos. Dana White talks about 92 kilos – we’ll see. There was no other match. It’s just him.”
— Khamzat Chimaev (@KChimaev) June 20, 2023
While both men have earned a majority of their experience and success in the welterweight division, it sounds as though the fight will most likely be contested in a higher weight class. With ‘Borz’ rumored for a more permanent move to middleweight, it makes sense that Usman would move up, especially after coming up short against reigning welterweight world champion Leon Edwards in back-to-back bouts.
However, Khamzat Chimaev has seemingly added a new wrinkle to the conversation by suggesting that the two men could compete at 92 kilos which would make it a light heavyweight bout. Though that would eliminate any potential title implications that the fight might carry, fans would tune in regardless to see who comes out on top between two of the promotion’s most polarizing figures.
Transcription courtesy of MMA Mania