Speaking with Daniel Cormier ahead of his UFC 273 fight with No. 2-ranked 170-pound combatant Gilbert Burns this weekend, Chimaev shared his thoughts on “The Nigerian Nightmare’s” present capabilities and legacy.
Specifically, Chimaev called the 34-year-old champion “old” and “slow,” and he diminished Usman’s record.
“Brother, Usman is almost (retired), his knees don’t work, his back hurts, his arm hurts, operation everywhere,” Chimaev said via BJPenn.com. “The guy is too old and too slow. He’s too slow, they want to like make money how they talk, they want to find a way and make money and go away from me, you know.”
Chimaev pointed to the fact that Usman has defended his belt against Colby Covington twice, as well as Jorge Masvidal twice. “Borz” also brought up that the man who The Nigerian Nightmare took the belt from, Tyron Woodley, went on to lose his last three MMA fights. Jake Paul also beat him twice in the boxing ring, including knocking “The Chosen One” out cold.
“Who he beat, brother, he beat the same two guys four times. He beat Colby twice and he beat the other guy (Jorge Masvidal), twice,” Chimaev continued. “Who he beat, brother? Tyron Woodley, he was out from the UFC after him, 10 guys beat him, and boxing, a YouTube vlogger beat that guy. You know like who he beat? I don’t know, I don’t understand, he didn’t beat and didn’t fight somebody like me.”
The Nigerian Nightmare Has Only Tasted Defeat Once as a Professional Fighter
Usman is undefeated in the UFC’s Octagon. The 20-1 professional mixed martial artist’s only loss came in 2013 via first-round rear-naked choke at the hands of Jose Caceres, two years before The Nigerian Nightmare won “The Ultimate Fighter” and signed with the UFC.
All in all, Usman has fought 15 times in the promotion, beatings the likes of Covington, Masvidal, Burns, Woodley, former UFC lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos and Demian Maia.
Nine of his pro wins have been via KO/TKO, with three of them coming with Usman as champion. He’s also ranked as the No. 1 pound-for-pound male fighter on the roster, as per the official UFC rankings.
Usman has a very solid significant strike differential, according to UFC Stats. As per the stat site, Usman lands at a rate of 4.66 significant strikes per minute, whereas he only absorbs 2.59 significant strikes per minute.
In contract, Usman’s fierce rival Covington lands 4.10 strikes per minute and is hit by 3.05. Chimaev has the most impressive significant strike differential, however. He lands at a rate of 8.68 per minute and only absorbs 0.08. Through four UFC fights, Borz has only been hit by one significant strike.
Chimaev Has a Massive Opportunity at UFC 273
Chimaev could be knocking on the door of a title shot very soon. Currently ranked No. 11, Chimaev is poised to skip the line at 170 pounds. If he beats Burns on Saturday night, he’ll likely take over “Durinho’s” No. 2 ranking.
Since Usman needs to heal and then eventually take on Edwards, fight fans could see a clash between Chimaev and Covington should Burns fall at UFC 273.