Ahead of his Octagon return at UFC 294 in October, Khamzat Chimaev has been tipped to further continue his dominant roughshod run through contenders, according to Kevin Holland – who expects the Chechen finisher to excel at the middleweight limit.
Chimaev, the current number four ranked welterweight contender, is slated to make a return to the middleweight limit for the first time since his debut in the UFC later this year at UFC 24 in Abu Dhabi, UAE – taking on former division title challenger, Paulo Costa.
Sidelined since he co-headlined a UFC 279 event back in September of last year against the aforenoted Riverside native, Holland, Chimaev improved to 12-0 as a professional at the event, submitting the former with a stunning first round D’Arce choke stoppage.
Kevin Holland expects a dominant run for Khamzat Chimaev at middleweight
And now booked to co-headline UFC 294 in October, AllStars MMA mainstay, Chimaev has been touted to become an even more dominant force at the middleweight limit/
“That should be pretty fun,” Kevin Holland told Helen Yee of a fight between Khamzat Chimaev and Paulo Costa during a recent interview. “I think a lot of people forget that Paulo Costa was undefeated until he lost to ‘Izzy’ (Israel Adesanya). So, I think a lot of people just kind of target how good Paulo Costa is. So I think that’s probably the toughest fight that Chimaev is gonna have to date, especially with the size.”
“I think Chimaev at 185 (pounds) will probably be even more dominant than he is at 170 (pounds),” Holland continued. “Not as bad of a [weight] cut. He can feel more comfortable. I think it’s a good fight. Dude looks like he’s putting on a little bit more size. I think they’ll match up and clash up really well.” (Transcribed by MMA News)
For Costa, the Belo Horizonte native, who has predicted a dominant first round stoppage of Chimaev in “savage” fashion – most recently snapped a two-fight losing skid against former middleweight champion, Luke Rockhold.