Dana White heaped praise on the impressive Khamzat Chimaev, but isn’t jumping the gun on having him fight a top-five fighter just yet.
Chimaev made it three wins in the space of two months following a statement-making first-round knockout win over Gerald Meerschaert on the UFC Vegas 11 main card on Saturday night.
— UFC (@ufc) September 20, 2020
With plans for him to fight Demian Maia next, many observers believe he should be aiming higher now given the manner of his three UFC performances so far. White agrees as he revealed Chimaev is once again ready to have a short layoff and compete in the upcoming Fight Island events.
Whoever does end up facing him will have a tough time as White labelled “The Wolf” as one of the most special fighters he has ever seen.
“The guy is special. I’ve been in this game my whole life, I’ve never seen anything like him,” White said at the post-fight press conference. “He’s special, he’s different. He wants to fight again.
“… This guy is one of the most special fighters I’ve ever seen, if not the most special guy I’ve ever come across. He kept telling me leading up to this fight, ‘you think I’m a wrestler, wait till you see my hands.’ Holy shit, he wasn’t lying.”
One reporter suggested the idea of having Chimaev face top-ranked welterweight contender Leon Edwards who has been looking to compete for a while now but unable to land an opponent of his preference.
Chimaev could certainly be of interest to the Birmingham native, but to make the step up to a top-five opponent requires a full training camp for the Dagestan nativeaccording to White.
“I mean if he is going to fight a guy like that, you’re breaking into the top five, you give the guy a full camp,” White added of a potential Chimaev vs. Edwards fight. “… Maybe you can do it but you definitely don’t do that. You give the guy a full camp.”
In time, Chimaev will eventually end up facing a title contender. And White is excited for what the future holds.
“Look at what he’s accomplished in 66 days — imagine what he’ll accomplish in nine months,” he added.