Khamzat Chimaev Earns UFC Rival’s Respect: ‘I F***** Around & Found Out’

Khamzat Chimaev

Getty Khamzat Chimaev

Top-ranked UFC welterweight Khamzat Chimaev earned rival Neil Magny’s respect during a training session.

Magny heads back to the Octagon on Saturday to battle Gilbert Burns during UFC 283 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Ahead of the fight, “The Haitian Sensation” spoke with Ariel Helwani on MMA Fighting’s “The MMA Hour.” And during their conversation, Magny revealed that he had recently mixed it up with Chimaev in the gym.

Magny is one of the few fighters who has repeatedly challenged “Borz” to a fight. Well, The Haitian Sensation “found out” what it was like to scrap with Chimaev, who he called “the real deal.”

“We had the opportunity to train in New York and the guy is definitely the real deal,” Magny said. “The best way I can explain it is like, I f***** around and found out. Khamzat is definitely the real deal.

“I went in there thinking, ‘Oh, here’s this sweet little wolf that I can train with in jiu-jitsu,’ and then things got real, real fast. There’s more hats to the guy, more so realizing, damn, this guy is actually the real deal. He’s not a fighter or fight I can take lightly at all. If I’m being honest, had I got that fight early on, I might have set myself up for failure, looking past him a little bit.”

Magny Said Things ‘Escalated Quickly’ Between Him & Chimaev

Magny and Chimaev met at the Renzo Gracie Academy and although things started out even keel between them, they quickly found themselves in a “full-on grappling match.”

“Initially there wasn’t any tense moments at all, it was just an opportunity where it was like, ‘I’m here to train, you’re here to train,’ it was very respectful, going through the motions, not super competitive,” Magny said.

“But that escalated very quickly. It went from that to a full-on grappling match, getting slammed, all this kind of crazy stuff. So yeah, it definitely escalated quickly there.”

Magny Admitted That Chimaev Got the Better of Him

The Haitian Sensation admitted that Chimaev was the better combatant on that day in New York City. However, he’s still interested in fighting Chimaev inside the Octagon and proving himself as the more elite fighter.

“There’s a video out there so I can’t even deny it, he definitely got the best of me that training session,” Magny said. “Like I said, I f***** around and found out, and I definitely found out the hard way. ‘Oh yeah, sweet little wolf, here we go, we’re just playing around,’ and that wolf definitely bit, and I was like, ‘Oh crap, I was not expecting that.’

“At the end of the day, I could give make excuses for it. ‘Oh, I wasn’t giving it my all, maybe it was this, maybe the fact that he was bigger,’ I could give you a thousand reasons why that training session didn’t go in my favor, but at the end of the day, it didn’t, and that kind of gave me a dose of reality. Alright, you got some s*** to work on.

“I’ll never be one of those guys to sit there and be like, ‘Oh, my opponent got lucky, this happened,’ or blame [anything]. I’m just not going to make an excuse for it. He definitely got the best of me that day, but I know that’s not the end of it. I know I have a lot more in me than what I showed that day and it’s just up to me to go out there and prove it.”

Read More