Exclusive: Robert Whittaker Open To Training With Khamzat Chimaev, Says ‘Borz’ Will Do ‘Quite Well’ Against Top 5 Middleweights

Robert Whittaker had nothing but nice things to say about "Borz."

Robert Whittaker On Khamzat
Robert Whittaker On Khamzat - Image via @khamzat_chimaev Instagram
  • Robert Whittaker talks about Khamzat Chimaev’s win and the possibility of them training together
  • “The Reaper” thinks “Borz” would do well against the top 5 middleweights

Welterweight rising star Khamzat Chimaev may have caused a stir at UFC 279 when he terribly missed weight, but he didn’t fail to deliver despite facing a middleweight fighter in Kevin Holland. The Chechen fighter made quick work of Holland, submitting “Trailblazer” in the very first round.

Chimaev’s impressive performance did not go unnoticed as he got middleweight’s No. 1 contender Robert Whittaker raving about him.

More than just a menace

We recently asked Whittaker to share his thoughts on Chimaev’s win over Holland and what he thinks of “Borz’s” overall game.

According to “The Reaper,” most people see Chimaev’s wild antics but only few, including him, notice his commendable “confidence” that has been one of his best assets thus far.

“I think a lot of what the fans can’t appreciate and I think only the other fighters can appreciate it the amount of confidence,” Whittaker said of Chimaev. “The amount of confidence Chimaev needed to have to just be like ‘you know what I’m gonna get this guy down and that’s all I’m doing I’m gonna’ and like ‘I will outlast him I’ll get him down I’ll hold him down I’ll do what I want with him and I’m gonna do everything’ like he just let his gas tank go he just invested completely knowing that that’s how it was gonna happen… it was wild absolutely wild.”

The feeling is mutual

Chimaev previously admitted that he’s a fan of Whittaker and if possible, he’d like to train with him.

When asked about his take on the matter, the former middleweight champion surprisingly said:

“I’m happy with that… his personality is just… he’s what you see is what you get… I like his approach on hunting bad guys. I was really impressed with that Holland fight and yeah I’m very interested [in training with Chimaev].”

“Definitely it is a compliment,” he added. “I’d like to work with him because anyone that can implement gameplans the way he has and obviously he’s wrestling and grappling is top-tier, he’s trained with the likes of Till as well. Hopefully our paths cross and we can get some good work together.”

Borz has what it takes

The win against Holland was the first time Chimaev beat a natural middleweight since 2020 and he needed only more than two minutes to get the job done. As early as now, Whittaker could already tell “Borz” can matchup well against the top guys in his division, but maybe except him.

“Are you saying he’d have success against me? [laughs],” Whittaker jokingly said of if Chimaev can take on the top 5 middleweights. “For sure [he can compete with the top 5] I can’t express enough how wild it was to see him just go in there and manhandle Holland that way it was crazy and then for him to have the undoubted belief and conference and skill set, strength and endurance to just do that it’s crazy people don’t realize how hard it is to hold people down that don’t want to be held down… he did that quite easily. He’s a big dude I’m sure he could do 185 quite well.”

Delving into it a bit, Chimaev had already started quite a storyline with No. 6 middleweight Paulo Costa following their near-fight incident at UFC PI. Should he consider to make a return to 185 pounds, it will be interesting to see how that match will play out. Let’s wait and see.

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