Last night at UFC Vegas 11, Khamzat Chimaev (9-0) was supposed to have his toughest test yet. He was going into the octagon against a guy in Gerald Meerschaert (31-14) that was going for the record for most submissions in the UFC middleweight division.
Meerschaert was supposed to pose some interesting challenges for the Russian prospect to overcome. However, Chimaev silenced everyone in just 17 seconds. Chimaev pushed forward and turned the lights out on Meerschaert quick.
UFC Vegas 11 reinforced the fact that Chimaev is supremely talented. Chimaev has great wrestling and he just proved that he possesses dynamite in his hands. After the fight, Dana White said that, “I’ve never seen anyone like him,” referring to Chimaev.
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) September 20, 2020
What does the UFC do with Chimaev?
It’s going to be fascinating to see what the UFC decides to do with Chimaev after this performance. Despite him only having three fights, it’s clear that he’s on a completely different level than the guys he’s fighting against. Chimaev is ready for the top ten.
The logical next step for the UFC would be to continue with booking the Demian Maia (28-10) as planned. Maia is a jiu jitsu world champion, and he’s been a top contender for years. He’s currently ranked 7th in the UFC‘s welterweight division.
However, he would be a massive underdog in a fight with Chimaev. There’s no chance in the world that Maia would be able to take down Chimaev, and he can’t strike with him. If Chimaev takes Maia down, I’m not sure Maia would be able to submit him through the shots he’d take.
It’s crazy to sit here and say that a legend like Demian Maia would have no chance, but I can’t see him having a chance. Khamzat Chimaev is not a normal prospect. He’s very special, and I think the UFC should turn up the competition, but be smart. Chimaev has superstar written all over him.