Fast-rising UFC welterweight Khamzat Chimaev is gearing up for the highest-profile fight of his MMA career thus far. On Saturday, September 10th, the Chechnyan-born fighter will step into the UFC 279 main event against veteran and perennial fan-favorite, Nate Diaz.
The pairing has brought mixed emotions from the MMA community. Some are intrigued by the match-up while others were left scratching their head as to why the UFC opted to give Diaz, a fighter who is seemingly on his way out of the promotion, a main event against the No. 3 ranked welterweight. The answer likely boils down to money, but according to Khamzat Chimaev, it doesn’t matter who the UFC puts in front of him. In a recent short documentary on the YouTube channel La Sueur, the Swedish fighter discussed his belief that if you want to be the best in the world, you fight against all comers.
“I never choose my fight opponents or something else. I want to fight. I’m the fighter. If you’re a real fighter, you have to just fight. If you think you’re best in the world, fight everyone.”
Always the hardest working man in the room, Khamzat Chimaev lives by a very simple philosophy. If you work hard, you will be rewarded.
“It’s easy to understand that sh*t. If you work hard, you get the money. If you don’t work and you’re sitting and chilling, you’re never gonna the title, you know. And the money as well. You work hard, coach all the time said, ‘hard work, easy money.'”
Khamzat Chimaev Would Rather Injure Himself Training Than Walk Into The Octagon Unprepared
Khamzat Chimaev has quickly established a reputation for being a trainer’s delight. Eager to push himself to the next level, ‘Borz’ is determined to hone every skill that makes up mixed martial arts to ensure when he walks into the cage, nobody can compete with him.
“People don’t have limits. Like, human conditioning, your striking, and everything. You can learn everything. You can make your conditions better and it can be like one of the best conditions in the UFC, you know. That’s why I’m working hard. My striking, my wrestling, my grappling, and my conditioning. We work on four or five sessions for conditioning.”
When questioned if he has any fears of pushing himself too hard in the gym, potentially risking injury, Chimaev believes it is far better to sustain an injury in the gym than it is in a fight.
“For me, it’s better to get surgery and [cancel] my fight. It hurts more when you lose the fight. It’s better [to get] hurt in the gym and not hurt in a fight.”