UFC boss reveals plans for conquering Chechen – RT Sport News
UFC president Dana White has revealed his hopes for undefeated Chechen fighter Khamzat Chimaev to compete on a blockbuster fight card in the UK next year.
Speaking on the sidelines of UFC 280 in Abu Dhabi on Friday, White was already contemplating what next year holds for the world’s elite MMA promotion.
Notably, White said he wanted to return to England for a huge card that would be topped with a welterweight title fight between British champion Leon Edwards and Kamaru Usman – the man Edwards stunned to win the title. 170-pound belt in August.
The undefeated Chimaev is firmly in the welterweight title mix, even though the Russian-born fighter failed to make weight for his 170-pound main event showdown with Nate Diaz in September – which sabotaged that fight and led to Chimaev facing late replacement Kevin Holland instead.
« Khamzat wants to fight at 170, and I’m going to give him one more opportunity to make weight, » White says BT Sports in Abu Dhabi.
“I would love to do this fight in England [on the same card as Edwards-Usman].”
Speaking separately to The Mac Life, White responded positively when it was suggested that Chimaev could face former US welterweight title contender Colby Covington in a co-main event on a UK card topped by Edwards and Usman.
“I agree with you. I will,” answered White.
Since destroying short-notice opponent Holland in the first round of their encounter at UFC 279 in Las Vegas in September, Chimaev has teased a run at 185lbs before training specifically on the brash Covington .
Feared Chechen sensation issues warning to UFC rivals
Chimaev’s professional MMA record is 12-0, including six wins under the UFC banner. His biggest scalp to date was his unanimous decision victory over Brazilian contender Gilbert Burns in an Instant Classic at UFC 273 in April.
Chimaev, 28, is fighting out of Sweden, having moved to the country as a teenager. However, he frequently visits his Chechen homeland and is considered a friend of local leader Ramzan Kadyrov.
It remains to be seen whether this fact would affect White’s plans for Chimaev to compete on the UK card, given the current political circumstances and the ban imposed on Russian tennis players at Wimbledon this summer.
However, a London UFC Fight Night card at the O2 Arena was headlined by Russian heavyweight Alexander Volkov against local hero Tom Aspinall in March.
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