Khamzat Chimaev burst onto the UFC scene, establishing himself as a fighter who was willing to take on anyone, anytime. With two victories in a span of ten days, Chimaev quickly made a name for himself in the world of mixed martial arts.
However, since his rise to stardom, the fighter has been plagued by setbacks and uncertainty.
The Rise of Chimaev
Chimaev's victories over John Phillips, Rhys McKee, and Gerald Meerschaert only solidified his reputation as a force to be reckoned with.
However, the fighter's momentum was halted by a bout with the coronavirus, which forced him to temporarily retire from the sport. Despite his eventual return, Chimaev has not been able to replicate his previous success, leaving fans and the UFC wondering what has happened to the once dominant fighter.
One of the major factors contributing to Chimaev's recent struggles is his weight class. As one of the top fighters in the welterweight division, Chimaev is struggling to make the weight cut, leading to speculation about whether he will ever compete in that category again.
In response to these concerns, UFC President Dana White recently announced that Chimaev will be making his return in the middleweight division, where he will take on a top opponent.
The Fight That Never Was: Chimaev vs. Whittaker
There were rumors that the UFC was looking to match Chimaev against former champion Robert Whittaker, but these allegations have been denied by Whittaker himself.
In a recent statement, the fighter stated that he had not been offered a fight with Chimaev and that he was simply waiting for the next opportunity to compete. “Someone said that Chimaev said that they offered me a fight and that I turned it down,” Whittaker said.
“I was never offered a fight with Chimaev, and that’s that. I haven’t been offered any fight. I’ve been just waiting. I’ve been talking with the UFC, and the communication has been, ‘Let’s wait and see what happens with this title shot,’” Whittaker explained.
“I have not received any sort of written contract that says, ‘Do you want to fight Chimaev in x, y, or z?’ That’s not something that has been presented to me. So just clarifying that”. The potential match-up between Chimaev and Whittaker would have been a true test for both fighters.
Chimaev would have faced an experienced, former champion who has a proven track record of neutralizing wrestlers and their takedown attempts. On the other hand, Whittaker would have given fans another exciting performance that would have been worthy of attention. Unfortunately, this match will not take place, leaving fans to wonder what could have been.