Dana White Gave Khamzat Chimaev the Green Light for Unprecedented Feat in the UFC – “An Absolute Freak of Nature”

Published 02/24/2024, 12:55 AM EST

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Khamzat Chimaev has been a dominant undefeated force in the UFC. Chimaev’s UFC run began in 2020 and he shortly made history with his first two fights. Like many others, Dana White wasn’t familiar with ‘Borz’ and his prowess before the fighter joined the UFC. But after seeing his impressive debut, White was more than willing to give Chimaev a chance to enter UFC record books.

After securing a second-round submission at Fight Night 172 on Fight Island against John Phillips on July 15, 2020, Chimaev asked the UFC if he could step right back into the Octagon. His wish was granted by Dana White but only after he fulfilled a condition.

Khamzat Chimaev changed weight classes to fight twice in 10 days


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After registering his first victory, a hungry Khamzat Chimaev demanded another fight the very next week but had an interesting challenge ahead of him. Dana White and Co. wanted Chimaev to drop down in terms of his weight. So when the Chechen fought next, at UFC Fight Night 174 on the 26th of July, he had dropped from middleweight to welterweight. Soon, he proved his might and backed up his words by securing a first-round knockout win against Rhys McKee.

Talking about Chimaev on The Rush Podcast with Maxx Crosby, Dana White said, “I never heard of this guy in my life. He fights and destroys the guy he fights then starts screaming ‘I crush everybody I want to fight again next week!’ and my matchmakers are like uh-uh he’s (not) fighting again next week, I’m like f*ck yeah he’s fighting again, yeah, get it, wins and then his trajectory was like this.”


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Fighters in the UFC require weeks and months after a fight to recover and prepare for the next battle, hence Chimaev’s achievement was impressive. His first-round TKO victory over McKee was his second in 10 days, a UFC record. Chas Skelly previously held the record for quickest turnaround between UFC wins at 13 days which he set back in 2014.

White also recalled that Chimaev just has something about him that sets him apart from everybody else. “Khamzat is an absolute f*cking freak of nature,” the UFC CEO said about Chimaev. His welterweight win over McKee was even more impressive than his debut fight, as he didn’t absorb a single strike.


“I can fight after one hour, maybe,” Chimaev said in his post-fight interview at that time. This was a testament to his stamina and hunger, something he reiterated in 2022 with an even more bold request.

Chimaev wanted to fight two guys in one night

In 2022, ‘Borz’ urged UFC Boss to allow him to fight two opponents on the same night. He tweeted on X,  “[Dana White] brother let me fight with 2 guys the same night, I am not kidding.” Khamzat Chimaev is no stranger to pulling off unthinkable feats.


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In the early days of the UFC, the promotion held some one-night tournaments. Fighters were sometimes allowed to compete in as many as three times in the same event. But now, things are not the same.

As Chimaev gears up for his night fight, his opponent could be anyone from Dricus Du Plessis to Israel Adesanya. When Du Plessis became the middleweight champion, Chimaev challenged him to a fight at UFC 300. Du Plessis too would confirm his interest in fighting with anyone at all at the same pay-per-view. However, time and tide changed for both the fighters within a month or so.


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Du Plessis would go back on his statement telling the MMA world that he considers UFC South Africa more important than UFC 300. Chimaev too would contradict himself by announcing that he won’t be fighting during the month of Ramadan which would still be ongoing in April.


Written by:

Prit Chauhan


One take at a time

Prit Chauhan is a UFC writer at EssentiallySports. His portfolio shows him as the go-to event coverage writer at ES and his work on UFC 297 is proof of the same. As an experienced writer and a longtime MMA fan, Prit’s strong suit lies in telling the relatively unknown and more personal stories of fights and fighters.
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Edited by:

Joyita Das