On Fighting Khamzat Chimaev: ‘The Dude’s Untested’

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.

With a professional MMA record of 9-0 and a UFC record of 3-0, Khamzat Chimaev is viewed by his rival as “untested,” and he’s ready to see what the Russian’s got.

After a thunderous start to his UFC career, rattling off three victories between July and September 2020, fans haven’t seen Chimaev inside the Octagon since his 17-second KO of Gerald Meerschaert. He was scheduled three times in a row to compete with top welterweight Leon Edwards, however they were canceled each time due to COVID-19.

Unfortunately for Chimaev, he was hit hard by the virus, dealing with lasting symptoms including fatigue and lung issues. However, he has said on several occasions he’s back to fighting form and is prepared to make his return in August. He’s challenged several fighters, including Nick Diaz and Jorge Masvidal, as well as No. 9-ranked 170-pounder Neil Magny.

In a recent interview with MMA Fighting, Magny also shared his interest and excitement in possibly sharing the cage with Chimaev.

Neil Magny

GettyNeil Magny punches Anthony Rocco Martin in their welterweight bout during the UFC 250 event at UFC APEX on June 06, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

“I’m still not opposed to the Khamzat Chimaev fight,” Magny told the outlet. “The dude’s untested at this point. He’s a young up and comer, he has great credentials on the international level. He definitely has potential to be a great fighter, and I want to test myself against a young up-and-coming guy.

“I feel like I’m one of the best guys out there right now. I’m in the best shape right now. I’m in a good place in my life right now. It would be a notch in my hat.”

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Magny It ‘Not Worried’ to Hit the Canvas With Chimaev

If they met inside the Octagon, Magny feels like his striking and ground game will be enough to hand Borz his professional MMA loss.

“I match up great against him,” Magny said. “He’s a big welterweight, he fights at middleweight as well so he’s not going to be a guy I can walk in and have a huge reach advantage over, but I still have a striking advantage over him. His wrestling is top notch but I feel once the fight hits the ground, it would be in my world so to speak. I’m not worried about going to the ground with anybody.

“I think I match up well against Chimaev wherever this fight takes place.”

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Magny Isn’t Willing to Wait Around for Chimaev, Eyeing Vicente Luque for August

Although “The Haitian Sensation” is down for a scrap for Chimaev, he isn’t willing to put “his career on hold” waiting for the Russian. Although Chimaev said he’s ready to fight in August, there is still a possibility that his return will be delayed further should symptoms resurface.

“That’s why I wasn’t too eager to commit like, ‘You and I are fighting in August,’ and take all the other fights off the table,” Magny said. “I do wish the guy well, I do wish he comes back here pretty soon. But with the COVID situation, I don’t know if he’ll be ready in August and I’m not willing to put my career on hold for ‘what if?’

“If he’s ready, I’m absolutely willing and able to face him. If not, give me the next top contender and I’m ready to keep moving forward.”

For an opponent, Magny expressed interest in fighting No.5-ranked welterweight Vicente Luque in August.

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