‘Different’ Khamzat, rapt with middleweight power, will ‘smash everybody’ — including UFC champ Sean Strickland
Khamzat Chimaev has plans.
His first order of business is to “smash” Paulo Costa at the upcoming UFC 294 pay-per-view (PPV) event, which goes down Oct. 21 at Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi. After that, the 12-0 “Borz” expects to challenge for the 185-pound strap, even if it means dethroning current middleweight champion and former sparring partner Sean Strickland.
“Strickland, coming for him,” Chimaev said on YouTube. “If you stay there, man, coming for you too. He works hard, deserves it, the guy is always in the gym, now he got the belt. He has a good team, good coach, I have been there, training with that guy. They deserve that belt. He has been active, fights with everybody. I don’t know why [the UFC] is waiting. Give that chance to me. They are hiding that belt from me. Anyway, like I said, when I smash everybody, they have to give that belt to me.”
Chimaev, 29, is no stranger to the middleweight division, having laid waste to Gerald Meerschaert at UFC Fight Island 4 back in late 2020. Unfortunately, a welterweight scale fail ahead of UFC 279 put an end to his run in the 170-pound weight class, despite a subsequent victory over fellow two-division veteran Kevin Holland.
“It’s a different weight class,” Chimaev continued. “Different power, we eat different, not hungry anymore. At 77 kg, I eat just rice, rice [and] fish, rice [and] chicken, it’s crazy. Now, more training than before, more food, more energy, different power, different energy, that’s good. I fought Gerald Meerschaert in that weight class. I smashed that guy with one punch. That’s my real power, you know. The guys don’t understand that, but it’s waiting for them.”
Right now, the only thing waiting for Chimaev is a barnburner against Costa.