Dana White Wants Big Move for Khamzat Chimaev After UFC 279 ‘Problem’

Dana White, UFC

Getty UFC President Dana White is seen during UFC 261.

UFC president Dana White is not confident a title shot at 170-pounds would work out well for Khamzat Chimaev.

Chimaev took on longtime rival Kevin Holland in the co-main event of UFC 279 this past Saturday. He was initially scheduled to compete against Nate Diaz but got shuffled with Holland for a catchweight contest just a day before the bout. “Borz” came out firing from the opening bell and put in a dominant performance to earn a first-round finish by submission, marking his fourth outing in the promotion where he did not absorb a single significant strike.

As good as his performance was, there were doubts about the future of the third-ranked welterweight contender in the division after he failed to make weight for the original outing.

During the post-fight press conference, White talked about Chimaev coming in overweight and expressed his concerns over putting the rising prospect in a title fight at 170 pounds.

“What is your reaction to putting him in a title fight at some point if he is missing weight by eight and a half pounds?” a reporter asked White.

“Yeah, it’s a problem,” White said. “That’s a problem that he missed weight. I don’t know, we gotta look at it and figure it out. What makes sense is for him to fight at 180-pounds so, we’ll see.”

Dana White Post-Fight Press Conference | UFC 279UFC President Dana White addressed the media following UFC 279: Diaz vs Ferguson to share his reaction to the fights and answer questions from the press. Subscribe to get all the latest UFC content: ufc.ac/3u8FIJp Experience UFC live with UFC FIGHT PASS, the digital subscription service of the UFC. Visit ufcfightpass.com/ To order UFC Pay-Per-Views…2022-09-11T06:07:40Z

White Wants Chimaev at Middleweight

“Borz” was set for a welterweight match but came in over seven and a half pounds over the nontitle fight limit. Had Chimaev been booked for a title fight last Saturday, he would be an additional pound over the championship fight limit. He ultimately got pitted for a 180-pound bout opposite Holland.

White got asked to clarify his comments on liking Chimaev at 180-lb since there are no divisions or rankings for that weight in the UFC. The company head indicated a permanent move up to middleweight and argued against more catchweight draws.

“To clarify something you said earlier, you said you like Khamzat at 180. Are you talking about more catchweight fights for him or do you mean a full move up to 185-lbs, middleweight?” a reporter asked.

“Yeah, that’s what I meant,” White responded. “No more catchweight fights.”

Chimaev Believes He Is Ready for a Title Shot

Chimaev disagreed with White that moving up a weight class would make sense for him. He made his case for being the next in line at welterweight and bashed two former title challengers, Jorge Masvidal and Colby Covington, both of whom were beaten twice by the former champion Kamaru Usman.

“Who are they going to give it to? Who is next there? Everyone loses the fight. Colby loses 2 or 3 fights in a row. Masvidal loses, when was his last win? Against Diaz. Did you see Diaz fight? So terrible.”

He argued against the idea of him not being able to compete at welterweight.

“I did that before. Why not? I don’t know, I said to you, I’m going to go back and listen to my coach. If he says 170, we do 170, if he says heavyweight, we do heavyweight.”

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