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Khamzat Chimaev next fight: MMA star on Leon Edwards, Dricus Du Plessis, UFC 300 and Saudi Arabia

The UFC MMA octagon

MMA sensation Khamzat Chimaev has ruled out fighting at UFC 300 but says he is open to facing welterweight champion Leon Edwards when he returns for the first time since October.

Unbeaten Chimaev is one of the most popular fighters in the sport, amassing almost eight million Instagram followers and recently embarking upon a UK tour.

But the feared finisher will have averaged less than a fight a year since October 2021 by the time he next steps in the octagon, which he said will not be against Edwards on April 13.

“I will fight everybody,” Chimaev pledged in an audio clip published by MMA Uncensored. “Leon, [middleweight champion Dricus] Du Plessis – anyone. Maybe somebody in Saudi Arabia. I want to fight there.”

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Muslim Chimaev explained that he would not fight during Ramadan, which runs from March 10 until April 9 2024 and would require him to fast from the first light of dawn until the setting of the sun if he is in a training camp for UFC 300.

The 29-year-old beat former welterweight champion Kamaru Usman by decision on his last outing but has not challenged for a title during his perfect seven-fight UFC career.

Khamzat Chimaev next opponent

The fighter known as ‘Borz’ has slipped to 11th in the middleweight rankings and suffered the ignominy of missing weight for his scheduled welterweight bout with Nate Diaz in September 2022.

Known for his quick finishes, Chimaev took part in a swiftly-arranged catchweight contest with Kevin Holland at 180 pounds on that occasion, winning by first-round submission.


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A post shared by Khamzat Chimaev (@khamzat_chimaev)

Chimaev’s failure to make weight in Edwards’ division would make a bout with Du Plessis seem likeliest if he is to be granted a title shot in the near future.

Jack Hermansson, who climbed to 10th in the latest middleweight standings, has suggested that he wants to fight Chimaev. “I can’t fight an unranked opponent,” explained the Swedish-Norwegian.

“I need to fight someone who’s closer to me in the rankings. Of course I’m willing to fight Khamzat. I know there has been talking of him and [fourth-ranked) Jared Cannonier and some of the other top names, so we’ll see what happens.”

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