One of the biggest stars in the UFC has his eyes set on his next opponent. Khamzat Chimaev (12-0) has been waiting in the wings since his dominant performance against Kevin Holland last year. Originally, Chimaev was supposed to face off against Nate Diaz.
However, when Chimaev came in nine pounds over weight, the UFC switched things up last minute. Diaz fought Tony Ferguson and Chimaev fought Holland. Chimaev ran through Holland in the first round with another dominant win.
Since that win, there’s been internal debate in the promotion whether to have him fight at 170 or 185 moving forward. Chimaev has fought at both weight classes in the UFC. If he returns to welterweight, Colby Covington seems to be the fight that the promotion wants to make.
However, Chimaev seems to have his preference and it appears to be 185 pounds. Chimaev has already been calling out champion Alex Pereira, but this week he set his sites on a former champion and current top contender. That contender is Bobby Knuckles himself, Robert Whittaker (24-6).
Will UFC book Chimaev – Whittaker?
Robert Whittaker was originally supposed to face off against Paulo Costa this upcoming weekend at UFC 284. However, after drama occurred between the promotion and Costa, the fight was called off leaving Whittaker without an opponent.
Whittaker was ultimately removed from the card and there’s still no word on his next opponent. Chimaev’s callout is very intriguing for all parties involved. If Chimaev intends to make middleweight his permanent home, Whittaker is the perfect opponent for him.
Alex Pereira and Israel Adesanya are having their rematch in April. If Whittaker and Chimaev were to fight in May, it would set one of them up perfectly for a title shot either in the late summer or early fall months. To me, this is the direction the UFC would go in if it’s decided that Chimaev will move to middleweight full time.