Khamzat Chimaev could not have asked for a better performance on Saturday night. It took him 17 seconds to knockout Gerald Meerschaert. All the attention leading up to the fight was focused on Chimaev as Meerschaert vowed to stop the hype train. Unfortunately, the veteran succumbed to a perfectly timed right hand.
In the post-fight interview with Brett Okamoto of ESPN, Chimaev was asked, “Does it make it sweeter that the first two fights in the UFC were so grappling based? People were calling you Khabib [Nurmagomedov] and now you come out and land like a knockout artist. Does that make it a little sweeter?”
Khamzat replied saying, “Now they have to tell me like this is Mike Tyson. I don’t know. It does not matter to me how it’s going. But I do my hard work, come back, take my wins, and go home. Then start this again.”
Khamzat Chimaev: The next Mike Tyson?
Khamzat Chimaev made his name known with his debut at Fight Island with an impressive win over John Phillips. Following his win, he requested Dana white to give him another fight immediately. Dana White and the UFC obliged, and Khamzat was in a cage 10 days later. This time, he took on Rhys McKee.
McKee met the same fate as Phillips and was beaten up badly. In the process, Khamzat set the record for the fastest turnaround win in the UFC (10 days). Third on the list was Gerald Meerschaert, the most experienced of the fighters he has faced so far.
Khamzat put all whispers of being ‘only a wrestler’ to bed with a spectacular 17-second knockout. While Mike Tyson was known for knocking his opponents out cold, the comparisons are far-fetched for now. But does he really want fans to call him Tyson?
Probably not! Throughout his UFC tenure, Khamzat has been compared with UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov because of the similarities between them. And based on his past statements, he is clearly not a fan of these correlations.
The Swedish fighter wants to establish his own legacy, and his statement regarding Mike Tyson was nothing but a jab at all the people who called him Khabib #2.
However, after this win, no one can deny that Khamzat has knockout power. With Dana White admitting that ‘Maia might not be ready’ for Khamzat, who would you like to see him fight next?
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