There is not a lot of people who have made such a big impact in such few octagon appearances as Khamzat Chimaev. There is a lot more he can do Saturday on a very stacked UFC Fight Night to make even more of an impact.
In his first two UFC appearances he not only went undefeated but Chimaev is also only the second fighter in the UFC modern era to land at least 100 total strikes and absorb two or fewer in his first two fights, he landed 192 and absorbed only two. He also set the Record for quickest turnaround wins between fights as he won his ufc debut and second fight only 10 days apart.
At just 8-0, he is being pushed to measures never before seen with Dana White prematurely ”double booking” fights for the young prospect. If he wins and does so by taking little to minimal damage Saturday, he will be booked for an October meeting with former multi weight title challenger Damian Maia.
When speaking to the Media White has this to say about the controversy
“For a guy like him, I would never do that for somebody else. I’d be like, ‘Relax, let’s see if you get through this fight.’ But from what I’ve seen from him, I’m willing to do that with him.It’s fascinating,We’ve never really had anybody who is doing anything like he is right now. I can see why you would say, ‘Don’t you think it’s disrespectful to be booking a fight for him when he’s already got a fight?’ But that’s how you have to do it.”
Standing in the way of the hype, in the way of all those future planes is UFC vet Gerald Meerschaert, who regardless of anything I said above is easily the best most experienced fighter Khamzat will have saw to date.
The first two men who fell to Khamzat in his first two ufc fights have combined pro mma records of 32-13-1 (1-5 UFC). While GM3 himself has a pro record of 31-13 (6-5 UFC) and his 5 ufc loses coming to Thiago Santos, Jack Hermansson, Kevin Holland, Eric Anders and Ian Heisnich.
Meerschaert is not impressed with Khamzat or the double booking.
“It’s disrespect. He’s got to get through me, I’m tied for the record for most submissions in the middleweight division. I’m a dangerous fighter; I’m a game fighter. And look, I get it: He’s undefeated, he’s young. He fights just like Khabib, who’s on a hot streak right now and has a big following. I’m pretty sure he took the two closest fights back to back probably in UFC history. A lot of steam coming in behind his name.”
My prediciton: Round 1 starts out with immediate pressure from Khamzat as he scores a early takedown but meets some resistance with a couple subs thrown up from the bottom to make it interesting but still a Khamzat round. Round 2 starts with a little striking until Khamzat pressures GM3 against the cage and gets a takedown and then starts to unload with some big ground and pound until the ref stops the fight about 4 mins in for your winner by 2nd Round TKO/KO Khamzat Chimaev.