Ahead of his own Octagon comeback next month at UFC 294, surging welterweight contender, Khamzat Chimaev has showered praise on newly-minted undisputed middleweight champion, Sean Strickland – claiming the Covina native “deserves” every part of his title reign.
Chimaev, the current number four ranked welterweight contender, may see himself vying for middleweight division spoils in the near future, making a divisional return at UFC 294 next month in a potential title-eliminator opposite one-time championship chaser, Paulo Costa in Abu Dhabi, UAE.
As for Strickland, the Xtreme Couture staple managed to land undisputed middleweight gold at UFC 293 at the beginning of this month, turning in a unanimous decision shutout victory over two-time champion, Israel Adesanya, defeating the City Kickboxing staple in a huge shock win for the challenger.
Khamzat Chimaev praises Sean Strickland after UFC 293 title win
Sharing his thoughts on Strickland’s unlikely ascension to the middleweight throne, AllStars MMA staple, Chimaev heaped paise on the former, crediting his work ethic to his current run atop the division.
“He works hard, he deserves it,” Khamzat Chimaev said of Sean Strickland on his official YouTube channel. “The guy is always in the gym. Now he got the belt. He has a good coach, good team. I’ve been there training with that guy. They deserve that belt. He has been active, fights with everybody.”
Expected to make his Octagon return in the early goings of next year, Strickland has been pegged to potentially defend his middleweight throne in an immediate championship rematch against the above-mentioned, Adesanya.
However, over the course of the weekend, away from the Octagon, reports emerged detailing how Nigerian-Kiwi striker, Adesanya was involved in an alleged drink driving incident in Auckland Central, New Zealand – just three weeks out from his title fight with Strickland, which the former champion has now pleaded guilty to.