Khamzat Chimaev’s future is considerably murkier after UFC 279.
Chimaev won another dominating victory at September’s pay-per view, but his weight misfortune forced him to miss a main-event bout against Nate Diaz. This resulted in a reshuffle of the three top fights. Chimaev weighed in at 178. 5 pounds for a scheduled welterweight bout, 7. 5 pounds over the limit, and was eventually moved into a co-main event catchweight bout opposite Kevin Holland.
Following the season finale of the Contender Series on Tuesday, UFC President Dana White was asked what the promotion’s plans are for Chimaev and he replied that the two-division threat’s future is still in flux.
“There’s obviously 170 and 185 pounds, there was a big beef today at matchmaking whether he can make 170 pounds, whether we should even let him make 170 pounds again,” White said. These are the items that we have .”
Since his debut in July 2020, Chimaev is a fascinating contender. He has dominated the middleweight and welterweight divisions. His biggest test came against Gilbert Burns at UFC 273 this past April, where Chimaev scored a unanimous decision win over the top 5 welterweight contender in a Fight of the Year candidate.
White has no preference for where Chimaev fights next, he just wants to know what plan Chimaev has for himself.
“I’m in the middle,” White said. “What does he want to do? What is he looking for? Does he want to make 170 and go for the title at 170 or does he want to go to 185 and go for the title there?”
” This was the main debate that we had today at the matchmaking meeting,” White added. One guy spoke one way, and another said the opposite. Then I said, what does he really want? Somebody get in there and figure out what he really wants to do and let’s figure out and let’s make a fight.”
One option not on the table. Blue-chip prospect Bo Nickal. The three-time Division-I national wrestling champion secured his spot in the UFC with another dominant win on the Contender Series on Tuesday and called out Chimaev afterwards. White quickly dismissed that idea.
“Let’s not get mad here,” White stated.
For Chimaev’s part, it sounds like he intends to stay at 170 pounds. On Thursday, he tweeted that he wants to fight two-time UFC title challenger Colby Covington next.