Unsettling Reality for Khamzat Chimaev in Store at Middleweight After Dricus Du Plessis’ Beatdown of Sean Strickland at UFC 297, Claims Former Double Champ

Published 01/24/2024, 3:36 AM EST

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Khamzat Chimaev has the same dream in middleweight that he had during his time as a welterweight, to win the championship. However, UFC Hall of Famer and commentator Daniel Cormier believes it might not be an easy route for ‘Borz’ as a 185-er. ‘DC’ opined that it could be hard for the Emirati fighter to take the belt off of Dricus du Plessis.

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UFC 297 witnessed the crowning of two new champions, with Dricus du Plessis becoming the first South African fighter to win UFC gold after beating Sean Strickland. Following this monumental victory, Khamzat Chimaev tweeted out expressing his desire to fight for the title at UFC 300. However, Daniel Cormier has given his honest opinion on the current state of the middleweight division.

Daniel Cormier claims Dricus du Plessis will be a handful for Khamzat Chimaev

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During a recent edition of the ‘DC & RC Show’, Daniel Cormier reminisced about how the middleweight division used to have a stable champion. From Anderson Silva to Israel Adesanya, for a long time, contenders found it hard to topple the champion. However, things have since changed and three new champions emerged over the last couple of years.

“Anytime you have a guy, like Israel Adesanya, who’s held the belt for so long, and a belt that moved from Anderson [Silva] for so long, a belt that never changes hands, you start to see that division… that has stability,” said Daniel Cormier. “It hasn’t had that since Izzy lost the belt. The belt has moved… between four people now in a matter of two years.”

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He further went on to mention how many people were talking about Khamzat Chimaev’s move to the middleweight division. They believed that ‘Borz’ would be the next stable champion. But in the wake of Dricus du Plessis’ UFC 297 performance, Daniel Cormier found it hard to believe that Chimaev would be the one to dethrone ‘Stillknocks’.

“I think so many people before would have said Khamzat Chimaev is going to be the guy that’s going to bring stability, but when you watched Dricus wrestle last weekend against Sean Strickland, it doesn’t seem like Khamzat is going to be able to just take him down,” Daniel Cormier added. However, he also presented his reasons for choosing Du Plessis over Chimaev. Let’s see what he had to say about that.

Du Plessis is too big for his weight class

Daniel Cormier addressed the issue of choosing the current champion over the undefeated Emirati contender. Firstly, ‘DC’ believes that ‘Stillknocks’ is a much bigger fighter to be competing at middleweight. Secondly, his fighting style could appear to cause a problem for others due to its unpredictability. Cormier further stated, “He [du Plessis] is massive for the weight class, he has a fighting style that’s so hard to game-plan against [and] he looks like a guy that could reign for a long time.”

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Nevertheless, anything can happen in the sport of MMA. Hence, Daniel Cormier won’t be surprised if the middleweight title suffers a similar fate to the light heavyweight title. “Even in saying that, I would not be surprised if it continues to be a hot potato, just like the light heavyweight belt,” ‘DC’ added.

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Khamzat Chimaev is currently nursing an injury he suffered in his last fight and other health issues. He wants to fight for the title next and has made that very clear. However, there are other contenders as well, including Israel Adesanya and Alex Pereira. We will have to wait and see how things pan out in the coming weeks and months.

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Written by:

Himanga Mahanta

1,766Articles

One take at a time

I am a UFC writer at EssentiallySports, and my passion for MMA and a deep understanding of its intricacies have allowed me to churn out more than 1000 articles. I have covered numerous UFC events and fighters, with the aim of bringing my readers closer to the action and the athletes they admire. I have developed a knack for providing analytical coverage of breaking stories from the world of MMA.
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Edited by:

Yeswanth Praveen

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