Khamzat Chimaev has reportedly turned down two opportunities to fight Luke Rockhold as he wants to stay at welterweight.
UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping recently named the ideal weight class for Chimaev to compete in while discussing the Luke Rockhold match-up.
According to Michael Bisping, Khamzat Chimaev should fight at 170 pounds as he is not big enough for the middleweight division.
While Bisping admitted that a matchup between Chimaev and Rockhold would be exciting to watch, he also believes that it didn’t make sense.
In a recent episode of his podcast ‘Believe You Me,’ Michael Bisping told co-host Luis J Gomez:
“Khamzat (Chimaev) and Luke Rockhold. That doesn’t make sense anyway. I mean listen, would I watch it? Yeah. Would it be fun? But for Khamzat (Chimaev), well he did fight at midlleweight though, middleweight and 170. He shouldn be at 170. He is a big 170 welterweight but he is a little small for middle I think.”
Khamzat Chimaev made his UFC debut against John Phillips in a middleweight matchup in July 2020. Chimaev earned a second-round submission victory via a D’Arce Choke.
He would then drop down to welterweight and face promotional newcomer Rhys McKee within a ten-day turnaround period.
Chimaev earned a first-round TKO victory and his second consecutive Performance of the Night bonus.
For his third UFC outing, Khamzat Chimaev again went up to 185 pounds to face Gerald Meerschaert in another quick-turnaround. Chimaev delivered a stunning 17-second knockout, winning his third straight Performance of the Night award.
Khamzat Chimaev reportedly refused to fight Luke Rockhold
Khamzat Chimaev has insisted that he is ready to fight UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya and also claimed to be chasing the light heavyweight champ Jan Blachowicz.
Despite these claims, the Russian-born Swedish fighter has turned down a fight against former middleweight champion Luke Rockhold on two occasions.
Revealing details shared by Rockhold himself, Ariel Helwani wrote on Twitter:
“Luke Rockhold tells me he was offered a main event vs. Khamzat Chimaev on Aug. 28. He said he accepted but just got word Chimaev declined because he’s staying at 170. He also accepted a 3-rounder vs Chimaev on Aug. 7.
“‘All respect but I thought he would fight anyone,’ he said. Rockhold is hoping to fight by the end of the summer, he said. Wants a top-ranked 185er.”
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