The next UFC welterweight title fight is official as reigning champion Kamaru Usman looks to defend his title for the sixth time against Leon Edwards at UFC 278 on Aug. 20 in Salt Lake City, Utah. In the meantime, the next contender in line will need to be sorted.
Despite Edwards’ lengthy unbeaten streak in 10 fights, the Usman pairing still isn’t the freshest, considering Usman handed “Rocky” his last loss in Dec. 2015. Khamzatchimaev, however, is what most MMA fans think of when they consider the best new champion matchup.
Bursting onto the scene in 2020 unlike any fighter has ever done before, Chimaev dominated his first four opponents with impossible ease. He was not dealt a difficult task until his fifth appearance in the octagon.
At UFC 273 this past April, Chimaev went toe-to-toe with former title challenger, Gilbert Burns, in what turned out to be a Fight of the Year candidate and that evening’s Fight of the Night. Taking more damage than he perhaps has in his entire 11-fight career up until that point, Chimaev continued to prove the hype was real, walking away as the winner via unanimous decision.
Now ranked No. 3 in the official UFC welterweight rankings, Chimaev is getting more fellow contenders open to facing him, like fifth-ranked Belal Muhammad. Impressed with the Burns performance, Muhammad also noticed some holes in the game of Chimaev.
“I found weaknesses in him,” Muhammad said Food Truck Diaries ..
“I saw weaknesses in him,” Muhammad said to Food Truck Diaries.
Albeit not to the same degree as Chimaev, Muhammad is riding high off some good momentum, too. Unbeaten in his last eight outings, Muhammad has won three straight with a no-contest against the aforementioned Edwards acting as the divider in his chain of bouts.
Having looked better than ever in his last two outings against the likes of Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson and Vicente Luque, Muhammad has taken the time to go back-and-forth with Chimaev on social media. It led to them agreeing to fight one another, although the UFC still has not decided whether the fight will be made.
If the fight does not go down, “Remember The Name”, has every confidence that Chimaev will lose.
” When you reach the top five you must fight with a strategy. Otherwise you will lose to the great guys,” Muhammad stated. “For me, these last three fights I showed that I could fight with a strategy because they were all different fighters. I fought Demian Maia, who’s — I had to stay up on my feet. It was defensive wrestling as I couldn’t get down. Next, I faced ‘Wonderboy.’ I didn’t want to kickbox with him, so I said, “Wonderboy!”
“He’s not an easy guy to take down, and I don’t have college wrestling. I’m not a Division I wrestler, but I fight with a strategy, and I dominated more than anybody else has ever dominated him. You then have to fight Luque who knocked out me, has the most finishes at the welterweight weight and is good on both his feet as well as on the ground. You don’t know how you are going to defeat a man like this. Oh well, with movement and footwork and then shooting in when he least expects it.”
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SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE
Goodnight, sweet prince.
Get it, Gilbert.
I just signed a new multi fight deal with the UFC. Thanks @danawhite and @seanshelby for taking care of me. We are just waiting to see the next opponent. A lot of people talking abt the @ufc but without the UFC and Dana I would not be here! Thanks my brother @AliAbdelaziz00 the best!
— GILBERT BURNS DURINHO (@GilbertDurinho) June 17, 2022
“Big Man, Little Mic”
I played a little trick on the #PFL4 fighters
— Amy Kaplan (@PhotoAmy33) June 16, 2022
Who da f*** is that guy?
— MMAFighting.com (@MMAFighting) June 16, 2022
Swang and bang.
Nathaniel Wood (17-5) vs. Charles Rosa (14-7); UFC London, July 23.
DeAnna Bennett (12-7-1) vs. Justine Kish (8-5); Bellator 284, Aug. 12
Jose Aldo (31-7) vs. Merab Dvalishvili (14-4); UFC 278, Aug. 20
Damon Jackson (21-4-1) vs. Pat Sabatini (17-3); UFC Fight Night, Sept. 17
It’s been a busy week for the gang. There should be plenty of action tomorrow and today. Have a great weekend!