UFC’s Khamzat Chimaev zeros in on Kamaru Usman fight in Abu Dhabi
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Khamzat Chimaev has relocated to Dubai with his team where he’s practicing patience.
“UFC told us we’re gonna fight in Abu Dhabi,” Chimaev said in a video posted to his YouTube channel on Tuesday, “so that’s what I’m waiting for.”
Chimaev has been raring to get back in the octagon since his last fight, a first-round submission win over Kevin Holland. That was back in September of last year at UFC 279, and it came together after the weigh-ins following Chimaev’s massive miss on the scale for his originally scheduled welterweight headliner with Nate Diaz.
Ever since then, Chimaev’s future has remained in question, with UFC president Dana White stating that he wants the rising UFC star to move up to middleweight. Chimaev has called out a slew of potential opponents, including former UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman, current UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya, and No. 1 welterweight contender Colby Covington.
Bottom line: Chimaev (12-0 MMA, 6-0 UFC) is now living in Dubai after spending time in Sweden and Thailand. He’s “just waiting for the opponent and for the contract” to fight at UFC 294 on October 21 in nearby Abu Dhabi. And it sounds like he expects to meet Usman, a matchup White has said the UFC would be willing to book if it took place at 185 pounds.
“Usman wants to fight. I make his last fight. He wants money. He knows where is the money, you know? Everyone knows the money,” Chimaev said. “I’m gonna fight this guy, Abu Dhabi, smash his face, finish him, then they have to give me that title shot. There’s not money fights anymore. It’s only me.”
After winning his first six UFC fights, Chimaev is talking the talk and wants to walk the walk by securing a title shot he believes he’s already earned. To him, the division is irrelevant.
“I want to fight for the title. So, for me, it doesn’t matter which weight class,” Chimaev said. “… Give me just title shot. I’m ready for both (divisions). I’m ready for Usman, I’m ready for Leon, I’m ready for Israel, doesn’t matter. I’m ready for everybody.”