“He Can Already Beat the Top in the UFC”- Khamzat Chimaev’s Teammate Ilir Latifi Believes He Is the Real Deal

Published 12/28/2021, 3:30 AM EST
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – SEPTEMBER 19: (R-L) Khamzat Chimaev of Chechnya punches Gerald Meerschaert in their middleweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on September 19, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)


Khamzat Chimaev took the MMA world by storm through his dominant performances. The ace grappler secured a place for himself in the upper echelon of his division with his undefeated streak. However, his teammate and UFC heavyweight Ilir Latifi believe there’s more where that came from.

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In a discussion with Mike Bohn of MMA Junkie, Ilir Latifi claimed he had acknowledged ‘Borz’ since the day he stepped foot inside the Allstars gym.

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“He’s even better… I’ve known this kid since the first day he came in the gym, and I said from the first day this guy has potential. Even before he was in the UFC, he has done some professional fights and I said this guy is ready and he can already beat the top in the UFC.”

Ilir Latifi wants Khamzat Chimaev to handle his fame

Ilir Latifi is a UFC veteran who has competed in the premier promotion since 2013. The heavyweight has built himself a hefty record of 15 wins and 8 losses. In 8 years as a UFC fighter, he has fought in multiple PPV events and has shared the cage with the likes of Derrick Lewis and Volkan Oezdemir.

Latifi has also received his fair share of recognition from the media. So, he is well aware of the outside pressure fighters face from their surroundings and how managing it can enhance a fighter’s performance in the octagon.

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A post shared by Ilir Latifi (@ilirlatifi)

‘The Sledgehammer’ also feels that Chimaev needs to tone himself better and grow in the sport. He said, “It wasn’t about bragging. I just know his skill set and his talent and his determination, so what we’re seeing is nothing that I’m surprised of. But still, I think he needs the time to grow in the sport because it’s not only fighting, it’s all the hype around you and the fame, and that’s all something that you need to be able to handle.” 

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Do you agree with Latifi’s opinion? Can Khamzat Chimaev surpass his superiors at the UFC? Tell us in the comments below.

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Aashish Kumar

210 articles

Aashish Kumar is a UFC writer at EssentiallySports. A graduate in Journalism & Mass Communication, this Israel Adesanya fan has interned at reputed media houses and gained valuable reporting experience. Building on that experience, Aashish will look to tap into his love for combat sports and let fans benefit from his passion and journalistic expertise.

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