One of the UFC’s newest superstars was blasted by a potential future rival. Rising welterweight and middleweight prospect Khamzat Chimaev is 3-0 after entering the UFC in 2020, but he’s already getting on the nerves of his fellow competitors. Former title challenger Stephen Thompson blasted “Borz” in an interview with MMA Junkie that was published over the weekend.
“I had to fight through murderer’s row to get to where I’m at and so did Leon Edwards,” Thompson said per MMA Junkie. “He was on a winning streak to get to where he’s at. I had to fight a slew of guys, I mean tough opponents…to get to where I’m at, and then this guy just jumps past everybody. I think it’s a slap in the face to everybody who’s worked their butts off.”
UFC Fight Night: Thompson vs. Neal
Thompson is scheduled to take on Geoff Neal in the main event of the final UFC card of the year on December 19 at UFC APEX in Las Vegas.
It’s a pivotal welterweight matchup between two of the best 170-pound fighters in the world.
But it’s also one that was originally slated to be the co-main event of Chimaev’s scheduled bout against Leon “Rocky” Edwards.
So playing second fiddle to a fighter who just now entered the company during 2020 and hasn’t yet competed at the highest level of the division is something “Wonderboy” doesn’t like one bit.
Thompson on Rankings: ‘It’s Just Ridiculous To Me’
Heck, Thompson even said he doesn’t understand how Chimaev is already ranked in the top 15 of the UFC’s welterweight division.
“I think he was ranked No. 15, which doesn’t make sense to me,” Thompson said per MMA Junkie. “I know he’s had one fight in the welterweight division…so it just doesn’t make sense how this guy can jump past everybody who’s worked their behinds off to get to where they’re at, and now he’s ranked No. 15 fighting the No. 3-guy…It’s just ridiculous to me.”
Moreover, Thompson said he’s prepared to be even more upset if Chimaev wins his next fight over Edwards in a fight that had to be rescheduled after Edwards tested positive for COVID-19.
Thompson believes the fighter’s meteoric rise will give way to “Borz” jumping up over everyone again in the division, this time for a crack at the UFC welterweight championship.
“Guaranteed he’s probably gonna get a title shot if he beats Leon Edwards, and I kinda called this,” Thompson said per MMA Junkie.
Thompson on Real Reason for UFC Push
Thompson isn’t so sure the UFC’s big push is warranted.
“I was wondering why they were pushing Khamzat so hard, and I was like watch Khabib retire, because they’re from the same neck of the woods, they got to please that market, so it kinda makes sense why they’re pushing him so hard,” Thompson said.
So Thompson believes Chimaev’s big promotional push right now is more about Dana White and the people over at the UFC offices wanting another regional star to replace retiring UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov.
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