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Dana White praises the fast rise of Khamzat Chimaev: “There’s nothing like it”

UFC president Dana White praised the fast rise of welterweight prospect Khamzat Chimaev, saying that “there’s nothing like it.”

Chimaev has emerged out of nowhere over the past year or so to become one of the UFC’s biggest stars and someone who many fans believe is a future world champion. Last summer on Fight Island, Chimaev made his UFC debut with a dominant second-round stoppage over John Phillips. 10 days later and he returned against Rhys McKee and he smashed him, too. A month after that, Chimaev fought Gerald Meerschaert and he knocked him out. After missing a year due to health issues stemming from COVID-19, Chimaev returned to the Octagon last weekend at UFC 267 and he submitted Li Jingliang in the first round. It was a dominant victory and Chimaev is now ranked in the top-15 at 170lbs. He is now being fast-tracked up the division’s ladder, and the UFC is currently talking about booking him against Nate Diaz.

Speaking to BT Sport ahead of UFC 268, White praised Chimaev for what he has accomplished so far in the UFC. As far as White goes, he hasn’t seen anything like this and he has been blown away by Chimaev.

“There’s nothing like it. The first time that he fought in Abu Dhabi (against John Phillips), he said, ‘I want to fight next weekend.’ So I said ‘done,’ and I started pushing the matchmaking to get him another fight. He ended that fight (against Rhys McKee) as impressively as he did the first one. Now we’re four fights in and the whole world (knows how good he is),” Dana White said.

White confirmed that the UFC is hoping Chimaev fights Diaz next, but if you ask Chimaev, he will want to face the winner of the UFC 268 main event between Kamaru Usman and Colby Covington next instead.

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Adam Martin
MMA journalist, podcast host, and handicapper for,, and MMAOB Daily Podcast host. Join me LIVE @ 5 pm EST every Monday for my live free podcast. Over 10 years of experience writing about MMA. I love this sport.