UFC president Dana White had the same reaction as everyone this weekend to seeing rising star Khamzat Chimaev’s epic first-round knockout over Gerald Meerschaert. Chimaev’s incredible 17-second destruction of a tough veteran opponent had White singing the praises of the fighter on social media in a way that perfectly encapsulated the moment.
“HOOOOOOOLY F****** S***!!!!!!!!!!” White posted via Twitter in response to the knockout.
HOOOOOOOLY FUCKING SHIT!!!!!!!!!!
— danawhite (@danawhite) September 20, 2020
It was perfectly written.
After all, that was just about how everyone was feeling once Chimaev had backed up his incredible fight week trash talk by destroying his opponent with the laughable ease of an apex predator crushing a gnat.
Chimaev (9-0) is one scary dude.
Talked about Khamzat Chimaev on our show today. pic.twitter.com/1teS9CxjCa
— Kelsey McCarson (@kelsey_mccarson) September 22, 2020
Watch the KO and Believe the Hype
Chimaev wasn’t billed as the main attraction, but the UFC’s “Wolf” absolutely stole the show on Saturday night at UFC Vegas 11.
Did you miss that?
You can watch (or re-watch) Chimaev’s thunderous one-punch knockout below.
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) September 20, 2020
Indeed, the hype is real.
Way Bigger Fights Ahead
The craziest part? This guy just entered the UFC. Imagine how things will look a year from now.
Chimaev had already introduced himself to the UFC community with two dominant wins in as many weeks during the company’s first foray at Fight Island in Abu Dhabi back in July.
Then, the Chechen fighter dared to be double-booked against Meerschaert and submission ace Demian Maia next while simultaneously demanding the UFC to add both Nick and Nate Diaz to the list, too.
And don’t forget that Chimaev is campaigning in both the UFC’s welterweight and middleweight divisions right now at the same time and that recently retired UFC champ Daniel Cormier went so far as to suggest the prodigy would become the UFC’s next “champ champ” as early as next year.
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) September 21, 2020
Chimaev sure seems on board with that idea.
This dude is already calling out everyone in both divisions.
Chimaev called out Conor McGregor over the summer.
After his latest win, he was calling for fights against basically every other relevant fighter in the UFC welterweight division including UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman and “BMF” champ Jorge Masvidal.
— Khamzat Chimaev (@KChimaev) September 21, 2020
This guy is truly ready for all comers.
Moreover, Chimaev reiterated on Tuesday evening that he would be down for earning those fights against top superstars such as McGregor, Masvidal and Usman by climbing up the ladder.
Chimaev said he wanted to face Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson next should his proposed bout against Maia or any other fight on his current docket fall through.
We fighting next lets go leave Leon alone 🐺🐺 https://t.co/iltFiK7Nrm
— Khamzat Chimaev (@KChimaev) September 22, 2020
Or maybe it’s that he wants to fight everyone one after another?
He’s already tearing through roster at an incredible rate.
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UFC’s Next ‘Champ Champ’?
Chimaev is naturally a welterweight fighter, but now he’s 2-0 in the middleweight division.
Moreover, the 26-year-old said “nobody’s a challenge” for him during the UFC Vegas 11 post-fight press conference, and that includes the UFC’s 170-pound champ Usman and its 185-pound king Israel Adesanya, too.
“I’m going to stop both guys,” Chimaev told the media on Saturday night.
So White’s reaction to seeing Chimaev completely destroy Meerschaert in less than 20 seconds isn’t hyperbole or even clever promotion.
It’s legit fanfare.
White expounded on things at the post-fight presser on Saturday.
“I’m telling you the guy is like nothing I’ve ever seen before,” White said. “Never seen anything like this in my life.”
Keep in mind that White’s seen just about every relevant thing that’s ever happened in the UFC, including the rise of the biggest superstar in MMA history McGregor.
“I think this guy has the potential to do anything,” said White. “We’ll see how this all plays out over the next year. Look at what he’s accomplished in f****** 66 days. Imagine what he’ll accomplish in nine months.”
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