The chaos ahead of UFC 279 has left the promotion’s matchmakers arguing over what division Khamzat Chimaev should compete in next.
Originally scheduled to headline the event against fan favorite Nate Diaz, Chimaev weighed in significantly over the welterweight limit, immediately casting doubt on his ability to make the 170-pound limit in the future. Following this week’s episode of Dana White’s Contender Series, the UFC President confirmed that there has been much debate between matchmakers about Chimaev’s next outing inside the Octagon.
“There’s obviously 170 and 185 pounds,” White said. “There was a big beef today at matchmaking whether he could make 170 pounds, whether we should even let him make 170 pounds again. Those are all the things that we’re kicking around right now.”
Sitting in the No. 3 spot on the welterweight rankings, Khamzat Chimaev appeared to be next in line for a world title shot. That was until Leon Edwards shocked the world with a fifth-round knockout of Kamaru Usman to capture the welterweight championship. Now with a trilogy bout between the two all, but confirmed, it leaves ‘Borz’ with a complicated future.
1 8 5 👊🏼💥 pic.twitter.com/urOK6BPayG
— Khamzat Chimaev (@KChimaev) September 23, 2022
Dana White Will Support Whatever Khamzat Chimaev Decides To Do Going Forward
With Dana White caught in the middle of a heated debate, the UFC boss said that ultimately wants what is best for Khamzat Chimaev.
“I’m in the middle,” White said. “I’m in the, ‘What does he want to do?’ Where does he want to be, and what does he want to do? Does he want to make 170 and go for the title at 170, or does he want to go to 185 and go for the title there?
“That was the big debate we had today in the matchmaking meeting. One guy said one thing, one guy said another thing. And then I said, ‘What does he really want?’ Somebody get in there and figure out what he really wants to do, and let’s figure it out, and let’s make a fight.”
Recently, Chimaev teased a potential move to the middleweight division on Twitter, sharing an image of himself with the caption “1 8 5.” That alone should be indicative of the Chechnyan’s next move, but it’s clear from White’s comments that there is still a lot of discourse over what’s next for the 12-0 star.