Khamzat Chimaev Is Just One Dominating Win Away From Finding His Superstardom Back

Daniel Cormier recently made headlines after his comments about Khamzat Chimaev, where he argued how the Swedish-Chechen fighter may never find his true star power days after his decision to pull out of the fight against Robert Whittaker this week in Saudi Arabia. However, there is a case to be made that Cormier’s statement is far from the truth.

Yes, Khamzat Chimaev hasn’t been as active as UFC fans would probably like him to be. A reputation he made for himself when he fought a record 4 times in less than 15 months after making his UFC debut. However, as of October 2021, after his fight with Li Jinliang, Borz has only competed three times.

Kamaru Usman suffered consecutive losses to Leon Edwards and Khamzat Chimaev
Kamaru Usman suffered consecutive losses to Leon Edwards and Khamzat Chimaev

This includes two fights in the year 2022, against Gilbert Burns and Kevin Holland, and just once last year against Kamaru Usman at UFC 294 in October 2023. And in all honesty, that’s not bad!

So, to say multiple withdrawals from high-profile fights have diminished his star power, and taken away the aura he once carried as a fighter, is an understatement.

Khamzat Chimaev fought the best in his short run with the UFC

Khamzat Chimaev looked unstoppable as he cruised through fighters not considered the UFC’s elite by fight fans. The dominance he showed in his first four fights is what pushed Chimaev to the top and made him an overnight sensation. It wasn’t until he fought top ranked Gilbert Burns in only his fifth fight that fans began to question his abilities.

Needless to say, he emerged victorious albeit with mixed responses from fight fans, only to completely dismantle Kevin Holland in the first round in his return less than five months later. Chimaev would go on to have a tough fight against none other than Kamaru Usman, causing fans to doubt his credibility and potential to become a future UFC Champion once again.

Khamzat Chimaev
Khamzat Chimaev (Credits: YouTube, Instagram)

In this comparison, fans remained oblivious to the fact that each fighter had difficulty displaying the same kind of dominance they once displayed against inferior opponents. This is true for Islam Makhachev in his fights against Alexander Volkanovski and Dustin Poirier in recent memory. And if we go back in time, Georges St-Pierre, Anderson Silva and Jon Jones faced similar situations. So what makes Khamzat Chimaev so prone to such criticism? No one but himself.

Khamzat Chimaev pays the price of his own doing

It’s more or less Conor McGregor’s treatment of fight fans, where his trash talk has become so effective that when it doesn’t favor Chimaev, it comes back to bite him and it comes back to bite him well.

Granted, Chimaev is nowhere near the level of stardom that McGregor is at, and one can argue, he may never be, considering the comparison is against The Notorious, but to write him off with a statement that he missed the bus, is flat out. wrongly

Khamzat Chimaev
Khamzat Chimaev with his team.

Besides, Chimaev fought at least once every year, and 2024 isn’t even halfway there. At 30 years old, Khamzat Chimaev already has a win over a former Champion, and if medical reasons have to subdue his aura, his return to winning ways will only make him an even bigger star.

Similar to Khabib Nurmagomedov who did not compete for almost two years after his fight against Rafael dos Anjos, Chimaev’s journey has only just begun. And it’s only a matter of time before he fights again and fans realize, maybe he was everything he said he was going to be. Be that as it may, only time will reveal the true picture.

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