A few weeks ago, rumors were suggesting Khamzat Chimaev fighting former welterweight champion Kamaru Usman next. However, there has been no concrete update about The Borz’s return inside the UFC octagon and neither has the promotion officially confirmed that Usman will be his opponent.
Consequently, Chimaev took to Twitter to express his frustration and revealed the time frame in which he will be available to fight.
Why can’t UFC book a fight for Khamzat Chimaev?
In this tweet, Khamzat said that he will be ready to fight anyone in the Paris card that will take place in September and is also willing for a quick turnaround in October at the Abu Dhabi card.
I am ready to fight in paris ready to fight after in abu dhabi let me smash somebody @ufc
— Khamzat Chimaev (@KChimaev) June 18, 2023
Khamzat Chimaev put the welterweight division on notice since making his UFC debut in 2020. The Borz was in terrific form as he cruised past three opponents in a span from July to September. Thereafter he had to take a one-year break due to Covid and illness. But he continued his dominating performances once he returned as he defeated Li Jing Liang and Gilbert Burns.
So the question mark lies as to why can’t the UFC find Khamzat an opponent. The first reason would be the fact that many rivals do not like the idea of fighting him. As per reports, the UFC offered Colby Covington, Robert Whittaker, and many others an opportunity to fight The Borz. But all the fighters reportedly rejected the offer.
Apart from fighters allegedly being scared of Chimaev, Khamzat missing weight ahead of his last fight has raised doubts in the promotion’s mind. Because of how things were playing out, Chimaev was supposed to be the one challenging Leon Edwards for the welterweight belt. But the Borz threw away the title shot when he missed weight by 7.5 pounds.
Another explanation behind UFC finding it difficult to book Chimaev is the fact that he has become a big draw. And that makes it tough to find matchups that will excite the viewers. Now that Khamzat will move up to middleweight, there aren’t many fights that make sense apart from the Paulo Costa or Robert Whittaker ones.
When did Chimaev last fight in the UFC?
Khamzat Chimaev last stepped inside the UFC Octagon against Kevin Holland in a three-round bout in the co-main event of UFC 279. This catch-weight matchup took place on September 10th at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Initially, The Borz was scheduled to headline this PPV against Nate Diaz.
However, the promotion had to make big changes to the card after Chimaev failed to make the 170-pound weight limit. The Russian welterweight missed weight significantly and the promotion had to ask Kevin Holland to step up and become a last-minute replacement.
Speaking about this catchweight bout, Chimaev jumped in for the takedown after the bell rang and rag-dolled Holland, and finished him via D’arce choke on the ground. Nine months have passed since Khamzat last stepped inside the octagon, it is needless to say that fans are waiting for his return as he is one of the most exciting fighters on the roster.