‘I plead the fifth’ – Khamzat Chimaev hinted to fight top UFC middleweight contender next

Do we finally know who Khamzat Chimaev is fighting?

By: Anton Tabuena | 3 months ago

Is Khamzat Chimaev’s next fight close to being finalized? That’s what one middleweight and his management team is hinting at.

After a big submission win last weekend at UFC Jacksonville, surging middleweight Brendan Allen had a laundry list of callouts once he got the mic on his post-fight interview. Allen proclaimed “I will be the next champion” at middleweight, and one of names he mentioned he wants next is to fight “maybe Jared Cannonier for a title shot.”

Allen hints that Jared Cannonier already has a fight lined up

Interestingly enough, Allen eventually apologized for his Cannonier callout during the post-fight press conference.

“First off, sorry to (my manager) Ali (Abdelaziz). He told me not to call anyone out that has a fight, or Cannonier because he potentially has a fight from what we understand,” Allen said during the post-fight press conference. “But I already memorized all that stuff, so I was like shit I gotta go with it. I’m sorry, I’ll just have to take the heat later. It’s better to ask for forgiveness.”

Khamzat Chimaev vs. Jared Cannonier?

Allen was then directly asked by the media if the reason his management told him not to call out Cannonier is because he also heard that he has a bout with Khamzat Chimaev already in the works. He had a big smile before responding.

“I plead the fifth,” Allen said slyly.

While he hinted at a Khamzat Chimaev vs Jared Cannonier booking, he says he also has no problem welcoming the Chechen back to middleweight.

“I fear no man,” Allen said about Chimaev. “I turn down no fight. If that’s what he wants, he can come get it. I don’t care. Anyone can come get it. Khamzat, Cannonier, Vettori, they can all get it. What is he going to do, take me down? I can jump guard but what are you gonna do with it? I’m a different beast on my back, on top, doesn’t matter.”

With most of the top middleweight fighters are booked, the number 3 ranked Cannonier indeed seems like a logical next opponent for Khamzat Chimaev.

Chimaev, the undefeated #4 ranked welterweight contender, is reportedly going to be forced to move up to middleweight after badly missing weight in his last contest. He was briefly linked to a bout with Paulo Costa, but UFC has moved on from the match up and booked Costa against Ikram Aliskerov instead.

The much hyped wrestler in Chimaev is 12-0 in his career, and hasn’t fought since choking out Kevin Holland in September 2022. His weight issues led to them fighting at a 180 lb catchweight.

Cannonier is fresh off a dominant win over Marvin Vettori earlier in the month. He is 7-2 since dropping to middleweight, with the only two losses being against long time champions Israel Adesanya and Robert Whittaker.

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About the author
Anton Tabuena
Anton Tabuena

Anton Tabuena is the Managing Editor for Bloody Elbow. He’s been covering MMA and combat sports since 2009, and has also fought in MMA, Muay Thai and kickboxing.

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