If Khamzat Chimaev stays at 170 pounds, there appears to be only one logical next fight.
UFC 279 played out as the same old song and dance for the dominant undefeated Sweden resident, smothering Kevin Holland before finding a d’arce choke submission in round one (watch highlights). Unfortunately for Chimaev, the big focus was on his 7.5 pound weight miss.
Knowing a thing or two about going between divisions, former UFC double champion, Daniel Cormier, likes the idea of Chimaev sticking with the weight he’s currently ranked No. 3 at. After Chimaev recently tweeted out interest in Colby Covington, it makes for an appropriate move toward his first UFC title shot.
“Colby Covington can match Khamzat in most of those areas where we will generally say Khamzat has the advantages,” Cormier said on his YouTube channel. “Wrestling, cardio, Colby can match those. What Colby can’t match is the power of Khamzat Chimaev. That’s where he might have a little bit of issue. But as he has shown on a number of occasions, even if he may not be the most powerful guy in terms of singular strikes, Colby Covington’s pace, his pressure, and his real spirit and desire to win fights, is what allows him to compete at the highest level.
“We have seen him melt people,” he continued. “If you recall, in the Gilbert Burns fight, Chimaev was starting to fatigue as the fight went longer. So it’s a very interesting match up in what could potentially be the most difficult match up for Khamzat Chimaev. I’m all in if he can make the weight.”
Covington has gone radio silent regarding his next possible fights ever since his alleged assault case opened up involving his last opponent, Jorge Masvidal, in March 2022. “Chaos” has since claimed to be dealing with brain damage from the incident. Despite his patience, Covington is still having options discussed going forward, according to UFC President, Dana White.
His unprofessionalism largely fumbled Chimaev’s trajectory toward a title shot at UFC 279. However, it didn’t help to have the title change hands when Leon Edwards knocked out Kamaru Usman (watch highlights). Either way, one more win at the very least will be required for “Borz” to sniff UFC gold.
“This guy has run through the UFC like nothing we have seen in a really long time,” Cormier said. “The only person that I think made an impact in that way that he has or better was Anderson Silva. Because Anderson Silva knocked out Chris Leben, immediately fighting for the championship. But we knew who Anderson Silva was even before he got into the UFC. Khamzat’s on that level.
“Khamzat has dominated, Khamzat has made a sport that is not easy at all, look very, very easy,” he concluded. “But the reality is, he’s calling out a guy at 170, and the last time he was supposed to fight at 170, we all know he missed the weight by almost eight pounds.”