If there’s one person who can speak about the Khamzat Chimaev hype, it would be Kevin Holland. “Trailblazer” (a.k.a ‘Big Mouth’) felt Chimaev’s skillset firsthand when the two locked horns at UFC 279. Holland ended up losing the fight via submission in less than half a round.
Speaking about Chimaev’s next options, Holland says “sky’s the limit.”
“Timing is everything,” Holland told CBS Sports (H/T MMA Fighting). “With the right fights at the right times, the dude matches up. I feel like Colby [Covington] might be too small to take it to him.
“But that being said, if Colby can take it to rounds three, four, and five, it could be a different story. [Chimaev] against [Kamaru] Usman, I think that would be the best fight, but maybe Usman’s not the same after Leon [Edwards]. I think the sky’s the limit.
Chimaev’s been jumping between welterweight and middleweight, but his UFC 279 weight miss may make him more suitable at a heavier weight class. But whatever decision he decides to make, Holland says it’s all warranted.
“At middleweight, depends on who he’s fighting. If he’s fighting certain guys, it might not be as easy. I think that the champ is a really good fight for him right now. Is he deserving of the championship fight right now at 185? No.
“Moreso at 170 pounds? Yes. He missed weight in his last fight so maybe he has to win one more before he gets there. The kid can do whatever the f–k he wants to do. And quite frankly, I think he could do a lot.”
Chimaev (12-0) has yet to book his next fight, but his name’s been attached to newly-crowned middleweight champion Alex Pereira as of late. Holland, meanwhile, is coming off a short-lived retirement to headline UFC Orlando this weekend against Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson. But according to him, ‘favoritism’ from the company brass could urge him to turn his back on the sport again.
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