It looks like Conor McGregor has another willing opponent if he ever moves back up to welterweight.
McGregor is slated to return to the octagon this weekend against Dustin Poirier at UFC 257. The fight will be McGregor’s first since defeating Donald Cerrone at UFC 246 last January. While many fight fans are excited for the return of the former two-division champion, fast rising welterweight contender Khamzat Chimaev is not among them.
In response to a tweet from the official UFC account promoting McGregor’s return, Chimaev replied simply, “the chicken is back”.
Chimaev has made arguably the biggest impression on MMA fans and media alike since perhaps ‘The Notorious One’ himself. The breakout star of 2020 started his UFC career by picking up two wins in a span of ten days, dominating John Phillips on July 15 before picking up a quick TKO over Rhys McKee at UFC on ESPN 14 on July 25. A 17-second knockout over Gerald Meerschaert at UFC Vegas 11 would follow to close out his year.
Despite none of those opponents being ranked and only one fight taking place at 170 pounds, Chimaev has nonetheless appeared on the UFC’s official welterweight rankings. He’s been scheduled to face top contender Leon Edwards on multiple occasions, only for the fight to fall through. The pair were originally scheduled to meet on December 19, but a positive COVID test from Edwards scrapped those plans. They were booked again to headline tomorrow’s UFC on ESPN 20 card, but COVID once again interfered, this time with Chimaev suffering from complications from the infection. The UFC is hoping the third time will be the charm and has scheduled the match-up once more for the March 13 card.
A win for Edwards would see his win streak run to nine-fights and would make him the favourite to next challenge for the title. Conversely, a win for Chimaev could see him jump the line in the welterweight title picture. With this latest call-out, it might also set him up for a fight against McGregor, depending on the outcome of his fight against Poirier and whether or not he would feel so inclined.
Do you want to see Khamzat Chimaev vs Conor McGregor at some point down the line? Let us know!