Shavkat Rakhmonov has fired back at Khamzat Chimaev after the Chechen born labeled Rakhmonov a ‘chump’.
Chimaev continues to be the hot topic of discussion within the world of MMA. The 27-year-old is fresh off a significant victory over Gilbert Burns at UFC 273, which saw both men battle it out in a fight of the year contender. Chimaev moved to #3 in the welterweight rankings and now targets a super fight with titleholder Kamaru Usman.
Since joining the UFC in 2020, Rakhmonov has also made waves in the welterweight division, accumulating three stoppage victories, taking his undefeated record to an imposing (15-0).
Preceding UFC 273, Rakhmonov was questioned about the proposition of meeting Chimaev in the Octagon. He said the following:
Shavkat Rakhmonov Responds to Khamzat Chimaev’s Comments
“I don’t know! It doesn’t really matter. Whoever they tell me to fight. If the rankings match right and the UFC makes that fight, I’m gonna do it without hesitation. But it’s not the right time to call him out, cuz he’s got an upcoming fight and might fight for a title potentially. The callouts are unnecessary now. Once I’ll get to him (in the rankings) we’ll fight!”
Many were impressed by the showing of heart, determination, grit, and overcoming adversity that Chimaev displayed on the night. However, Rakhmonov felt the performance was underwhelming:
“Shavkat Rakhmonov not impressed with Khamzat Chimaev’s skills”
Chimaev was quick to bite back in response, which was later deleted:
Khamzat Chimaev Throws Jab at Shavkat Rakhmonov
“Who’s that chump?!”
In a Q&A session, Rakhmonov was asked about his overall thoughts on Chimaev as a fellow competitor, responding (h/t MMANews):
“Let him say it to my face, not in comments. We’ll talk when we see each other. I’ve nothing against him. We’re just opponents and I’m not gonna insult him. I’m not gonna insult his family or nation. We’ll fight one day and then see who’s better.”
Rakhmonov was unfazed by Chimaev’s ‘Chump’ comment, stating he doesn’t take much from insults and believes it’s an indication that he’s in Chimaev’s head.
Later, a fan asked if he thought Chimaev was even aware that he existed. Rakhmonov responded, adamant that the Swede knows precisely who the Kazakh is, claiming he would be the biggest fight for Chimaev.
“Surely, he does! How can he not know?! I’m the biggest fight for him! It’s not Burns or a title. We can fight in the cage or in the streets. If someone has something to tell, we can do it. If someone has ‘questions’ to me, we can do it anywhere.”
With two undefeated welterweights throwing jabs at each other, a fight between Khamzat Chimaev and Shavkat Rakhmonov is a fight we could very well see in the future. How would you expect this matchup to unfold?