Henry Cejudo has suggested that Khamzat Chimaev is likely to beat Israel Adesanya in a potential middleweight matchup. Chimaev has competed in the welterweight (170 lbs) and middleweight (185 lbs) divisions during his MMA career.
Meanwhile, Adesanya has competed in the middleweight and light heavyweight (205-pound) divisions during his MMA career. Additionally, “The Last Stylebender” is also the reigning UFC middleweight champion, with five successful title defenses to his name so far.
During an appearance on The Triple C & Schmo Show, MMA legend Henry Cejudo suggested that “The Last Stylebender” lacked the skills to deal with Chimaev, who is a formidable freestyle phenom. Cejudo said:
“I always think a guy like [Khamzat] Chimaev arrives, and the guy [Israel Adesanya] is in trouble. Even if Chimaev had. Cejudo stopped mid-sentence and continued, “I think Chimaev is really struggling to make 170, and we know that. So I think he’s going to find his home at 185, and I think he’s going to destroy some people.
Currently, Israel Adesanya is coming off a unanimous decision victory over Jared Cannonier in their middleweight title match at UFC 276 on July 2. It is believed that Adesanya will defend his title against arch-nemesis Alex Pereira later this year. Pereira notably holds two victories on “The Last Stylebender,” but in the sport of kickboxing and not MMA.
Watch Henry Cejudo discuss the topic at 2:11 in the video below:
Khamzat Chimaev thinks he could become a three-division UFC champion
Undefeated Khamzat Chimaev’s most recent bout was a hard-fought unanimous decision victory over welterweight stalwart Gilbert Burns at UFC 273 in April. The consensus is that by beating Burns, “Borz” has proven himself as an elite 170-pound fighter.
While some argue Khamzat Chimaev is yet another marquee win away from a shot at the welterweight title, others feel he has done enough to deserve it. What’s more, in an episode of the Russia-based Hustle MMA podcast last year, Chimaev pointed out that he’s aiming for much more than the welterweight belt.
Chimaev claimed he could surely become a three-division UFC champion, a feat no fighter has yet been able to accomplish. “Borz” is apparently pursuing the UFC welterweight, middleweight and light heavyweight titles.
That being said, Khamzat Chimaev admitted that he would probably have to focus on weightlifting to gain size and strength before a possible move up to light heavyweight. Chimaev said:
“Of course, if you want to be the best fighter in the world at any weight class, you have to fight with everyone and not just say, ‘I’m better at one weight. I intend to fight 84 and, if possible, 93. We will see.