On Saturday, Chimaev took on Kamaru Usman in the UFC 294 co-main event due to Paulo Costa pulling out with an injury. Following an impressive first round, Usman began taking over at the end of the fight, but it was too late, leading to a majority decision for ‘Borz.’
Before UFC 294, Dana White confirmed that the winner between Chimaev and Usman would jump Dricus du Plessis for the next middleweight title shot. Therefore, ‘Borz’ is expected to fight the new 185-pound king, Sean Strickland.
During an appearance on Extra Rounds, Sean Strickland had this to say about his first title defense potentially being against Chimaev:
“The only thing I like about Chimaev is that he sells fights. For some reason, people f*cking like him or don’t like him. I don’t know. To me, he’s a f*cking paycheck. He sells a lot of fights. People pay to watch, but f*cking he hasn’t earned it.”
“He doesn’t f*cking deserve it, but here we are. Give it to him. He sells a lot of fights. I’ll go f*cking fight the man for five rounds. But, no, he has not earned it. He doesn’t f*cking deserve it, and getting a decision with a welterweight off the couch does not f*cking earn it.”
On September 9, Sean Strickland shockingly dethroned Israel Adesanya for the UFC middleweight title. Before booking Strickland, the UFC initially tried to match Adesanya against Dricus Du Plessis, but the latter wasn’t able to make the quick turnaround from his win against Robert Whittaker on July 8.
Sean Strickland reveals how he and Khamzat Chimaev almost fought in the streets due to a misunderstanding
Sean Strickland has been known to call people out for a fight outside the Octagon to settle their differences. According to the UFC middleweight champion, a similar situation has occurred with Khamzat Chimaev, but the latter didn’t show up.
Strickland had this to say during the previously mentioned appearance on Extra Rounds:
“One day, I made fun of Chechnian. [Chimaev] misunderstood what I said. It was more of a compliment to a fighter, and he sent me a message talking sh*t. I said, ‘Chimaev, you misunderstood, but I will see you tomorrow at 3 o’clock, gloves or no gloves, turn up. Guess what? No show, no answer. We talked it out. He said, ‘No, no, it’s ok. We talk about it.’”
Sean Strickland concluded by saying:
“Here’s the thing about Chimaev. The man can f*cking fight. The man can fight, we all know that. He beat Usman to a decision. Usman, old, retired, but whatever, he still did it. Me and him are f*cking different. Chimaev could be right here, I will fight that man to the death right here knowing I’m gonna die.”
Khamzat Chimaev made his UFC debut in July 2020. Since then, ‘Borz’ has solidified himself as one of the biggest superstars in the promotion with seven consecutive wins.
It’ll be intriguing to see if he can continue building momentum to dethrone Sean Strickland and obtain UFC gold.
Watch Sean Strickland talk about Khamzat Chimaev below:
— UFC FIGHT PASS (@UFCFightPass) October 22, 2023
Chimaev reacted to Strickland’s comments on social media (via X).
@SStricklandMMA you are next don’t worry you know haw fast I can finish you
@SStricklandMMA you are next don’t worry you know haw fast I can finish you 🤝🤣🦾
— Khamzat Chimaev (@KChimaev) October 23, 2023