Former UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping explained why he thinks Khamzat Chimaev is “still a little unproven” inside the Octagon.
The 27-year-old Chimaev exploded onto the scene last summer on Fight Island when he finished Rhys McKee and John Phillips in impressive fashion in the span of 10 days before knocking out Gerald Meerschaert with one punch in 17 seconds. Chimaev was expected to be one of the biggest stars for the UFC in 2021 but he has been unable to fight due to a tough battle with COVID-19 that nearly threatened his career. However, he is expected to fight again this summer now that he’s healthy.
While Chimaev certainly seems like a top prospect based on what we’ve seen, there are still some question marks about him. Speaking to James Lynch, Bisping praised Chimaev for his performances inside the Octagon, but explained why he thinks Chimaev is still “unproven.”
“You know what, this sounds crazy, but I still think Chimaev is still a little unproven. Because he had two fights on Fight Island and he looked sensational. He used his grappling to great effect and he dominated those fights. They were easy fights, they were clear fights, they were one-way traffic. Then he fights Gerald Meerschaert and it’s one punch, 17 seconds, or something silly like that. And again, fantastic, you can’t hate the guy, but you haven’t seen a lot,” Bisping said.
“Now by all accounts, what I hear on the grapevine is that this guy’s the real deal. I hear he’s just sensational in the gym, I hear his striking is beautiful, and we did see that and we saw his wrestling, we’ve seen everything. It’s easy to be the hammer, but sometimes in a fight, you have to be the nail. You’ve gotta be able to get the sh*t kicked out of you and bounce back. Sometimes a round doesn’t go your way. Is he going to be able to go through a round like that, dust it off, and then come back mentally strong the next round? Not everybody can. Some people, they’re bullies in there, they’re good when they’re able to bully people, and when they can’t bully them they wilt. Vitor Belfort, classic example. Great when he’s punishing people, but if you put a little pressure on him he’ll fold like a little lawn chair, like a little p*ssy, pardon my language.”
Do you agree with Michael Bisping that Khamzat Chimaev is still unproven?
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