Regardless of whether you love him or you hate him, there’s no denying that Khamzat Chimaev is must-see viewing whenever he steps foot into the Octagon. The Chechen sensation is one of the most talked-about fighters in recent memory across all of mixed martial arts and even though he’s only scratching the surface of his potential, he’s still being discussed as an imminent title contender and someone who could potentially win up to three world championships in the UFC.
Of course, we’re getting quite far ahead of ourselves, especially when you consider how turbulent his week was in the days preceding UFC 279.
‘Borz’ was set to take on Nate Diaz in the main event of the pay-per-view but from the minute he touched down in Las Vegas, things started to get a bit chaotic.
He attempted to start a fight with Paulo Costa at the UFC Performance Institute, he was involved in a scuffle that led to the cancellation of a press conference, and he topped it off by missing weight by 7.5 pounds.
He still went in there and demolished Kevin Holland on short notice but based on how it all went down, fans could be forgiven for feeling concerned.
During a recent media scrum, though, Dana White indicated that he thinks the performance outweighed the negatives.
Video: Dana White defends Khamzat Chimaev
“It was a nutty week, I mean the whole week was nutty in every way that it could possibly be nutty. But I wouldn’t say by any stretch that it was a bad week for Khamzat Chimaev.
“You all know what I think of Kevin Holland and of him as a person and a fighter, and god damn, Khamzat made that look easy and very quick. He’s an absolute beast.”
The next big thing
If Khamzat Chimaev is serious about continuing the absolute tear he’s been on in the UFC, he needs to think seriously about where he’s heading in terms of his weight.
If he sticks at 170 pounds, and makes the cut successfully, he’ll probably have to go through Colby Covington before getting a crack at the title. On the flip side, he’ll be starting from scratch if he opts to leap up to middleweight where he almost certainly wouldn’t have as many issues.