Chael Sonnen, a renowned journalist, and copywriter, has expressed his concern over the whereabouts of Khamzat Chimaev. The last time Chimaev was seen was eight months ago, where he defeated Kevin Holland in a 180-pound catchweight bout at UFC 279. However, his performance was marred by him missing the welterweight limit for the scheduled headlining fight against Nate Diaz, leading to the top three fights being shuffled.
Chimaev has not been booked for a fight since, with the reason unclear. The UFC has not responded to Chimaev’s claims of them not offering him fights. Initially, it appeared that Paulo Costa and Chimaev would fight due to their social media spats and in-person confrontations. However, the UFC recently announced that Costa would fight Ikram Aliskerov on July 29 at UFC 291.
Chael Sonnen was disappointed that the UFC did not make Chimaev the first fight of Costa’s new contract. Costa is one of the division’s most popular contenders due to his exciting fighting style and quirky social media persona. The fight with Aliskerov is a head scratcher as Aliskerov made his UFC debut with a first-round knockout of Phil Hawes recently.
Sonnen expressed his frustration with how the UFC has handled the undefeated Chimaev. Following Chimaev’s incredible UFC Fight Island debut in 2020, which saw him score two wins in two weight classes in ten days, nothing has been done to support him. It has been several months since Chimaev has been booked for a fight, even after calling out middleweight champion Israel Adesanya.
Adesanya apparently awaits the winner of a contenders’ bout between Robert Whittaker and Dricus Du Plessis. Sonnen is puzzled as to why Chimaev has not been considered for these plans. Chimaev’s willingness to compete in two weight classes appears to be causing confusion as to which division he plans to pursue a title in.
Chimaevis yet to clarify the division. However, he would need to prove himself in the 185-pound weight class before talks of a title can begin. Whittaker and Du Plessis, who fight on July 8 at UFC 290, are potential contenders who could fight Adesanya in Sydney, Australia, on Sept. 10 at UFC 293.