UFC welterweight contender Khamzat Chimaev should pursue the UFC middleweight title, suggests former double champion Henry Cejudo.
Chimaev takes on Nate Diaz in the main event of UFC 279 next month. It was fully expected that he would be next in line to fight UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman, but after Usman suffered a shocking last-minute head kick KO loss to Leon Edwards at UFC 278, it changed the entire trajectory of the division. Instead of Chimaev’s timeline matching up well for a title fight against Usman, that won’t be the case anytime soon as the UFC has already confirmed it will be booking the trilogy fight between Usman and Edwards next. That leaves Chimaev in a tough spot as he will be deserving of a title shot if he gets by Diaz. However, he would likely have to wait for another year if he chooses to sit out and wait.
That’s why Cejudo thinks that Chimaev should consider moving back up to 185lbs and challenge for the belt there, which is currently held by UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya. According to Cejudo, he believes that Chimaev should not just sit around and wait for the Usman vs. Edwards trilogy fight to play out. Instead, he thinks he should stay busy and continue fighting, and he thinks that challenging for the 185lbs belt against the winner of UFC 281’s Adesanya vs. Alex Pereira title fight makes sense.
“If I was Khamzat Chimaev, I would go up. Because these guys (Edwards and Usman) aren’t gonna fight until February. I think Khamzat beats him (Diaz). I think he challenges the winner of Israel and Pereira, and I think if he decides he wants to come back down, he should come back down. But I wouldn’t wait for Kamaru or Leon, because he’s looking at potentially a year before he fights somebody like that. I know Khamzat wants to be active, and he’s struggling to make 170, so that’s what I would do,” Cejudo said on his YouTube (h/t MMAjunkie.com).
Do you agree with Henry Cejudo that Khamzat Chimaev should consider moving up to 185lbs and compete for the title there?
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