Khamzat Chimaev Warned to ‘Stay the Hell Away’ From Fighter

Khamzat Chimaev

Getty Khamzat Chimaev of Chechnya celebrates after his knockout victory over Gerald Meerschaert in their middleweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on September 19, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

There’s one fighter rising UFC star Khamzat Chimaev should “stay the hell away” from, according to Chael Sonnen.

Sonnen, a former three-time UFC title challenger, now works as an MMA analyst and he was recently interviewed by Submission Radio. “The American Gangster” gave his take on Chimaev, questioning why “Borz” hasn’t been booked for his next fight.

Chimaev is seemingly willing to fight as soon as possible. And Sonnen believes No. 7-ranked welterweight Neil Magny is the perfect fight for Chimaev since Magny has publicly said he wants to compete against Borz.

But one person Sonnen doesn’t think Chimaev should go after is the No. 1-ranked 170 pounder, Colby Covington.

Khamzat Chimaev & Colby Covington

GettyKhamzat Chimaev & Colby Covington

Chimaev has challenged several fighters since his win over Li Jiangliang at UFC 267 in October 2021, including Covington. “Chaos” is fresh off his title fight with champion Kamaru Usman at UFC 268 last month, and although Covington lost the fight by unanimous decision, it was a very close contest.

And according to Sonnen, Chimaev should focus his attention elsewhere.

“Chimaev could do a lot of things, and he’s very impressive,” Sonnen said. “He’s best served at this point in his career to keep Colby Covington’s name out of his mouth, because you’re only going to poke that bear so many times. And that is not a wonderful match-up, for anybody.

“But if Chimaev has his druthers, stay the hell away from Colby.”

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Sonnen Said Chimaev Can Get Away With Certain Trash Talk Because English Is Not His First Language

Chimaev is known for his bold trash-talking, which is one of the reasons why he’s become so popular. And although Sonnen doesn’t like when a fighter says they’re going to “kill” another combatant, he gives Chimaev a pass as the Russian-born athlete isn’t a native English speaker.

Sonnen said on Submission Radio via

Khamzat can get away with some stuff. I don’t like [it], quite frankly. Two guys are about to fight and one guy says that the press conference, ‘I’m going to kill him’. And Khamzat can use even stronger words like ‘murder’, like ‘I’m going to murder him’. But there’s something cute because of the accent and the understanding that we all have that English is still a foreign language to him, so he can get away with things that other people can’t, and yes Chimaev can almost make poetry out of these terrible, terrible words! He certainly doesn’t mean it and somebody is giving him the wrong words.

The American Gangster also said that he believes Chimaev should be fighting at middleweight, not welterweight. Borz fought two of his four UFC bouts at 185 pounds and recently defeated top-ranked UFC middleweight Jack Hermansson in a wrestling match. When the two went toe to toe, Chimaev appeared to be the bigger man.

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Next UFC Event: UFC 269 on December 11, 2021

The Octagon is back in Las Vegas on December 11, 2021, for UFC 269. The event is headlined by a lightweight title clash, and the co-main event features a women’s bantamweight championship bout. Here is the full fight card:

Main Card

Charles Oliveira vs. Dustin Poirier, Lightweight Title Fight
Amanda Nunes vs. Julianna Pena, Women’s Bantamweight Title Fight
Geoff Neal vs. Santiago Ponzinibbio, Welterweight
Kai Kara-France vs. Cody Garbrandt, Flyweight
Raulian Paiva vs. Sean O’Malley, Bantamweight

Preliminary Card

Josh Emmett vs. Dan Ige, Featherweight
Dominick Cruz vs. Pedro Munhoz, Bantamweight
Augusto Sakai vs. Tai Tuivasa, Heavyweight
Jordan Wright vs. Bruno Silva, Middleweight

Early Preliminary Card

Andre Muniz vs. Eryk Anders, Middleweight
Erin Blanchfield vs. Miranda Maverick, Women’s Flyweight
Alex Perez vs. Matt Schnell, Flyweight
Ryan Hall vs. Darrick Minner, Featherweight
Randy Costa vs. Tony Kelley, Bantamweight
Gillian Robertson vs. Priscila Cachoeira, Women’s Flyweight

READ NEXT: UFC World Reacts to Kamaru Usman Beating Colby Covington at UFC 268

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