UFC middleweight contender Jared Cannonier has described surging welterweight star Khamzat Chimaev as “the second coming of Conor McGregor.”
In just four appearances in the Octagon, Chimaev has established himself as one of the hottest rising prospects in the UFC and a likely future champion. Not many have had as big an impact in as few outings as the Chechen-born Swede has.
After three wins in a modern-UFC record space of just 66 days in 2020, Chimaev firmly cemented his status as a name to watch. Those victories bought such prominence and attention that he was even matched up with top contender Leon Edwards multiple times.
After that matchup fell through and Chimaev was sent to the sidelines with a nasty bout of COVID-19, the 27-year-old’s charge was briefly stalled. But despite over a year away from the cage, “Borz” picked up where he left off last October at UFC 267.
Against ranked-contender Li Jingliang, Chimaev showcased his dominance with a fourth UFC finish in as many fights. Inside the opening round, the Allstars Training Center product rag-dolled “The Leech” to the mat and choked him unconscious.
From fans and pundits to UFC President Dana White and play-by-play commentator Jon Anik, many in the MMA community are extremely high on Chimaev. That includes current #3-ranked middleweight contender Cannonier.
During an interview with LowKick MMA, “The Killa Gorilla” praised Chimaev’s perfect start on MMA’s biggest stage. The veteran even suggested he could be the “second coming” of the sport’s biggest superstar, former two-division UFC champion McGregor.
“You know, (he’s a) hot prospect right now. Dana’s pretty hot on him, and from what he’s shown in the Octagon, the dude looks like the second coming of Conor McGregor,” said Cannonier. “But I don’t even like to make that comparison because he is his own self, he is his own man, and he’s doing his own thing. I tip my hat to the man. He’s doing a good job… If he comes up to ’85 that’d be cool too. The more the merrier as far as I’m concerned.”
Chimaev Could Face A Former Title Challenger Next
If Chimaev is to come close to reaching the heights of the “Notorious” irishman in the UFC, he’ll have to get past some top contenders on his way to 170-pound gold. The first of those challenges looks set to come against the #2-ranked Gilbert Burns.
A matchup between “Borz” and “Durinho” was initially rumored for this month. After talk of it appeared to die down, a recent report and subsequent social media posts from both seemingly hint towards a meeting in the Octagon later this year.
Chimaev, currently ranked #11 in the division, could secure a shot at Kamaru Usman‘s welterweight title with a victory over Burns, who fell short of reaching the mountaintop at UFC 258 last February.
Would you like to see Khamzat Chimaev face Gilbert Burns next?
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