Khamzat Chimaev has a message for Sean Strickland before his planned UFC title defense against Dricus Du Plessis.
Strickland is the reigning UFC middleweight champion, and he is set for his first defense on January 20. Strickland vs. Du Plessis will headline UFC 297, and the action will emanate from the Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Strickland has been known for hurling barbs at just about anyone he sees. He has taken aim at UFC welterweight contender Belal Muhammad for showing his support for Palestine. Public speaker Mohammed Hijab questioned why Strickland didn’t take issue with Chimaev for also showing his love for Palestine.
Khamzat Chimaev Believes Sean Strickland Should Fear Him
Khamzat Chimaev recently sat down with Hijab for a public interview, and he was asked if he believes Sean Strickland is afraid of him. “Borz” had the following response:
“I don’t know, man,” Chimaev said. “He has to be afraid. Inshallah we fight with everyone, so the fights in the cage is not that big thing. If we can make some people happy who is going through hard times and all Muslims watching us and me and Khabib, all the Muslim fighters, Belal, we know all of the kids, our kids they’re watching, they want to be like us.
“They [fighters competing against Muslims] should be afraid of us,” Chimaev said. “We fight not just for us like they do, we fight for all Muslims.”
Hijab then asked Chimaev if he planned on capturing UFC gold for his next fight, and Chimaev’s answer was clear.
“A hundred percent,” Chimaev said. “He [Sean Strickland] has good fighter who he’s fighting with, Du Plessis, and if he wins against this guy for sure we’re gonna fight 100 percent. They promised for me that fight, so now we’re gonna wait who’s winning the fight and then take the belt.”
Chimaev defeated former UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman at UFC 294 back in October 2023. Going into the fight, Chimaev was guaranteed a title opportunity if he emerged victorious. Du Plessis ended up getting the next title shot after Chimaev fell ill, but he has since recovered.