Khamzat Chimaev wants hidden UFC belt

Khamzat Chimaev aims at champion Sean Strickland ahead of Paulo Costa match at UFC 294.

By: Lucas Rezende | 2 months ago
Khamzat Chimaev wants hidden UFC belt
IMAGO/USA Today Network: Khamzat Chimaev is set to face Paulo Costa at UFC 294.

UFC star Khamzat Chimaev has his plans seemingly set in stone for the near future. ‘Borz’ is currently scheduled to take on Paulo Costa at UFC 294, but that hasn’t stopped the newly minted citizen of the UAE from looking past his opponent and on to bigger goals.

Khamzat Chimaev vows to smash Paulo Costa

Since Sean Strickland is currently without a title fight after winning the belt earlier this month, Khamzat Chimaev would like to take advantage of the vacancy and try to be the first to challenge the new champion. Since the 29-year-old believes he is going to defeat Paulo Costa with ease, there is no reason for him not to plan ahead.

“Now it’s my time,” Chimaev said in his YouTube vlog (transcribed by MMA Fighting). “Smash that guy [Costa], then it doesn’t matter if it will be Izzy or Strickland or somebody else. We’re coming for them.”

“Strickland, coming for him,” Chimaev continued. “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 hasn’t fought at middleweight since 2020

Back at middleweight for his first outing since his knockout win over Gerald Meerschaert in September 2020, Khamzat Chimaev seems happy to be moving back up. Not having to struggle to make weight at welterweigth anymore, the Chechen-born fighter believes he will be in better shape and more powerful when he takes on Paulo Costa in October.

“It’s a different weight class,” Chimaev said. “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,” Chimaev added. “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.”

Catch Chimaev vs. Costa at UFC 294

Still undefeated in his professional career, Khamzat Chimaev (12-0) rides a six-fight winning streak in the UFC, with victories over John Phillips, Rhys McKee, Geralrd Meerschaert, Li Jingliang, Gilbert Burns and Kevin Holland. All but one of those wins came by way of stoppage.

Meanwhile, Paulo Costa (14-2) scored a unanimous decision win over former champion Luke Rockhold in his last outing, back in August 2022. The victory snapped a two-fight losing skid for the 32-year-old, with a unanimous decision loss to Marvin Vettori and a TKO one to then champion Israel Adesanya,

UFC 294 will take place in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. The October 21 card is scheduled to be headlined by a lightweight bout between former champion Islam Makhachev and former title-holder Charles Oliveira.

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About the author
Lucas Rezende
Lucas Rezende

Lucas Rezende is a Brazilian journalist and writer from Belem, Para. He has been covering MMA since 2012 and contributing with Bloody Elbow since March 2015. When not writing, Lucas also teaches English. In his free time, he enjoys reading, slapping the bass guitar and traveling.

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