Reigning UFC middleweight titleholder Sean Strickland will be able to survive the first round against Khamzat Chimaev and give “Borz” a tough stand-up fight that will be the biggest test of the Chechen fighter’s career, according to former division champion Robert Whittaker.
“Usman is a tough fight and he beat him,” MMAnews quoted the Australian as saying. “How will Chimaev prove himself against other middleweights? It’s hard to say. Styles make the fights. But he’ll be fighting Strickland, and Strickland has a decent defense against takedowns. Not to mention he’s very difficult to compete with in the standup because of his scrawny style”
“I see Strickland giving Chimaev a tough fight. I don’t think Chimaev will be able to run him over. At five round distance, Strickland is very effective and he only gets faster from round to round. Chimaev has a tough test ahead of him, a very tough fight on his hands, because if anyone can last a round against him, it’s Strickland.”
Hamzat Chimaev defeated Kamara Usman by majority decision last weekend to become the main challenger for the middleweight title, while Sean Strickland scored a sensational win over Israel Adesanya early last month, beating the Nigerian by unanimous decision to take the championship belt away from him.