Khamzat Chimaev believes his peers won’t want to fight him after seeing him perform at UFC 267, where he returns after a year-long layoff to face Li Jingliang in a welterweight contest.
Chimaev made a blistering start to his UFC career last summer, winning three fights in two months, against John Phillips, Rhys McKee, and Gerald Meerschaert. The 27 year old was then scheduled to fight Leon Edwards thrice. However, the fight was called off on all three occasions due to COVID.
‘Borz’ has spent a major chunk of his 2021 struggling with COVID-related complications, but now that he’s fully healed, he’s looking to pick up where he left off.
‘They Wouldn’t Want To Fight Me’
Speaking to the media ahead of UFC 267 (as transcribed by MMA Fighting), Chimaev said that his peers are going to be ‘scared again’ after they see him perform this weekend.
“I don’t think these guys want to fight with me after this fight,” Chimaev said. “They’re gonna start to be scared again, complain ‘he didn’t fight some of these good guys, blah blah blah,’ things like that. We will see what happens after this fight.”
Potential Edwards Fight
When asked about a potential fight with Edwards, Chimaev said that he’d be willing to fight him, and that he’d be happy to work his way to a title shot.
“Of course, I will be happy if they give me somebody like [Edwards],” Chimaev said. “But I think if he wins this fight he’s supposed to fight for the title. How many win streak now? 10, 9? I respect that. I win this fight, win also one, two, three fights more before the title. I don’t want to jump up [past] the guys and have people talk like, ‘This is disrespect,’ I don’t like this talk. I want to show who I am. I’m gonna beat all the guys in the top 10, 10 fighters, and I’m gonna become champion.”
Many MMA fans believe Jingliang will be Chimaev’s toughest test to date, but ‘Borz’ begs to differ.
“Last time I fight Gerald Meerschaert, they say, ‘He owns the most submissions in the game,’ always people going to talk that somebody is better than me,” Chimaev said. “I know who I am. I’m gonna go take his head.”
Do you think Khamzat Chimaev will continue his winning ways against Li Jingliang this weekend at UFC 267?