For the longest time, the UFC was struggling to find a fight for their breakout star, Khamzat Chimaev (9-0). Chimaev has stormed onto the scene with three incredible fights and finishes here in the second half of 2020.
However, his impressive performance didn’t get him a spot in the UFC rankings. Most people believe Chimaev is one of the best in the world, but without a ranking, many fighters didn’t seem interested in taking the risk to fight him.
One of the fighters who was interested in the fight was the former UFC middleweight champion, Chris Weidman (15-5). Weidman just made his middleweight return back in August when he defeated Omari Akhmedov by unanimous decision.
When speaking to Submission Radio, Weidman says that he accepted the UFC‘s offer to face Chimaev next. “They offered me Chimaev. I said yes. Then I started to get really excited about it. Then I said, ‘I’ve got a little bit of a rib injury right now.’ I told them that I’d fight whoever in mid-January,” Weidman said.
Could the former UFC middleweight champion be next?
Weidman made the point that he still wants to fight Chimaev, but only if he’s able to win on December 19th. The former UFC champion said, “If he loses his next fight, the interest would just be completely gone. What’s the purpose of me fighting him?”
The All-American talked about the interest comes from the hype of Chimaev. Given the way the UFC has managed Chimaev’s career so far, I wouldn’t be shocked if he ends up fighting Weidman in January even if he wins on December 19th.
If Chimaev defeats Edwards who is the third ranked welterweight in the UFC, he’s likely going to get a title shot in his next fight. However, with Kamaru Usman – Gilbert Burns not fighting until early 2021, the timeline leaves open another fight for Chimaev.
Chimaev has talked about his desire to bounce back and forth between the welterweight and middleweight division. Don’t be shocked if the UFC still tries to make a fight with Chimaev and Weidman if Khamzat wins on December 19th.