Khamzat Chimaev has four finishes and five performance bonuses from his five UFC fights. He is currently the #3 ranked welterweight but might just be the scariest opponent on the entire roster.
It is a reputation that the Swedish star is happy to embrace. He takes on the experienced Nate Diaz in the main event of UFC 279 this weekend and had some words for his opponent that weren’t exactly encouraging,
“Just show up. Don’t be scared. I’ll make it fast for you,” he told Diaz.
Chimaev’s purse has never been disclosed although we know he has earned a $50,000 USD performance bonus for all five of his fights in the octagon. This will be his first time headlining a card and he seems to think it will be a lucrative occasion,
“I’m going to go in, take his head, take my million, and go home.”
Borz is going legend hunting at #UFC279 🐺
[ @KChimaev | #UFC279 Countdown airs SATURDAY at 10pm ET on ESPNews 📺 ] pic.twitter.com/zLt01v83Mt
— UFC (@ufc) August 31, 2022
With the event being a pay per view the amount Chimaev earns is likely to depend on the number of people who decided to purchase the broadcast. The only problem for the undefeated welterweight star is that his fight is widely seen to be something of a mismatch.
Chimaev is currently around -1500 to win the fight making him one of the most overwhelming favourites in UFC main event history. So to make a big impression he will need to do something a little bit special at the T-Mobile Arena this weekend.
It isn’t just the way Chimaev has won fights though it is the dominant fashion in which he had done so. He beat Jingliang Li so easily at UFC 267 that he found time to chat to Dana White mid fight,
“When I tried to take him down, the guy is not that good, it was so easy. I just picked him up, so I said, ‘let’s go speak with Dana’ and make some fun. It’s not just take him down, beat him up and win the fight.”
It only took ONE PUNCH to get your attention!👀
📺📱💻 #UFC279 | @KChimaev vs Diaz | SEP 11 pic.twitter.com/psS6typBCn
— UFC_Asia (@UFC_Asia) August 27, 2022
For Chimaev it is about showing the UFC president, and anyone else watching the fight, that he is on a totally different level to the opponents they are matching him with,
“Nobody does that, you know, pick some guy up, Top 11, and speak with Dana. Some throw them down and speak, but I speak when I just pick him up. Not everyone can do this. I want to show to Dana, to everyone that I’m not here to be a normal fighter. I’m here to make some history.”
But last time out Chimaev did experience adversity for the first time in his UFC career. His bout with Gilbert Burns was a wild war and the Brazilian had him badly hurt in the second round.
For the first time in his UFC career Chimaev could not find a finish although he did pick up a bonus and believes he made the fight more difficult than it needed to be,
“I could make that fight easy, but I made that fight a dogfight. I fought with him (stupidly). Next time, I will make it smarter and make it easy.”
Chimaev claims he could have taken the Brazilian down but made a conscious decision to stand and trade with Burns,
“Everyone says he defended takedowns, but I took him down when I wanted. I didn’t want to fight on the ground, I wanted to show my boxing. I told Dana, ‘I’m going to make the fight with my hands, to make it exciting’.”
These two just left it ALL in the Octagon. What. A. Fight 🔥
[ #UFC273 | LIVE on @ESPNPlus PPV: https://t.co/KOluT78H6K ] pic.twitter.com/zTz9bbGVOf
— UFC (@ufc) April 10, 2022
Chimaev is probably in pole position for a shot at the welterweight title which changed hands last month. Diaz has a big name but last won a fight in 2019 which makes him an attractive opponent for an up and coming contender looking to build their reputation.
Chimaev could be entitled to feel he has moved beyond the up and coming stage but had no qualms about accepting a bout with the TUF 5 winner,
“I want to fight with everyone. It’s nothing crazy-special about it, it’s fun to fight with that guy (and) get some money.”