Everything You Need To Know About Khamzat Chimaev

Published 10/10/2020, 11:31 AM EDT


Khamzat Chimaev might be the next UFC sensation. His start in the company has been explosive, winning three fights in under 100 days. What is crazier is that all those fights have been dominant wins for Chimaev. With a booking against Demian Maia on the horizon, Khamzat’s star power is on the rise.

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He already has most top welterweights ducking him and is on pace to have one of the fastest climbs to a title picture. However, that is contingent on top fighters facing him.
But what about everything Chimaev has achieved before becoming this monster that no one wants to fight?

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Khamzat Chimaev and his early career

Chimaev was born in Chechyna, Russia, and started wrestling at the young age of five. However, he was a prodigious talent. Chimaev competed in the local Russian wrestling scene before emigrating to Sweden at 17. He became a national champion in Sweden at 92 kilograms in freestyle wrestling. He also competed in combat sambo and judo.

Triumphant debut in MMA

Chimaev got his start in MMA while training in Sweden. He became training partners with the likes of Ilir Latifi and Alexander Gustafsson. Gus called Chimaev one of the most skilled athletes he has ever seen in MMA.
Chimaev opened strongly in MMA. His first two professional fights were on the Swedish local circuit. However, they were enough for him to get noticed by Brave CF, a middle-eastern promotion. Chimaev won his debut against Marko Kisic by finishing his opponent with punches in the first round.
This led to a spot on the Brave CF card that fought in Hyderabad, India. Chimaev produced a 30-second knockout of Sidney Wheeler. He went on to face a sambo specialist in Ikram Aliskerov after that, winning that fight with a first-round KO.
Khamzat’s last fight in Brave saw him pull off a second-round submission of Mzwandile Hlongwa. This was only the second time Khamzat went to the second round, and also the second submission win of his career. He would leave for the UFC after this win.

Khamzat Chimaev and his rise in the UFC

Chimaev may have been an unknown commodity while fighting for Brave, but he has exploded onto the UFC. It started with a 10-day stretch that saw Khamzat first win via submission against John Phillips and then knock Rhy McKee out a week later in the first round. This became the quickest turnaround between wins for anyone in UFC history.

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Chimaev then went one step further and booked a fight against Demian Maia in December. Maia is a former title contender in two divisions, so that is as legit a name to have on your resume as any. However, Chimaev double-booked himself by taking a fight against Gerald Meerschaert. That fight became a true launching point, as Chimaev knocked out GM3 with a single punch in the first 20 seconds of the fight.
Since then, Chimaev has been linked to big-name fights against the likes of Stephen Thompson and Leon Edwards. These are all top-ranked contenders, but the relatively inexperienced Khamzat isn’t a fight many are willing to take. He is low-ranked, so beating him doesn’t earn them any favors. However, losing to him can be a major setback.

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Let’s see if this rising contender finds his place amongst the top of his divisions. Or he may just crash and burn like many before him. However, from what has been seen until now, Khamzat’s future is brighter than anyone expected.

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Ishaan Bhattacharya

1436 articles

Ishaan Bhattacharya is an NBA, NCAA Basketball, and Combat Sports writer at EssentiallySports. Currently, Ishaan is pursuing a Post Graduate Degree in Journalism from Xavier's Institute of Communication. Previously, Ishaan has written for The Indian Express, The Quint, Sportskeeda, and WrestleClub.

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