‘Sugar’ Sean O’Malley has weighed in on why UFC middleweight and welterweight athlete Khamzat Chimaev has lately been competing in the welterweight division. The UFC bantamweight also speculated whether ‘Borz’ would fight his UFC middleweight rival Paulo Costa.
On the TimboSugarshow Podcast, Sean O’Malley and his coach Tim Welch seemingly agreed that although Chimaev dominates welterweights and middleweights ranked outside the top 10, he won’t be able to do the same against the divisional elites.
Additionally, O’Malley referenced Chimaev’s failed cut to welterweight in his last fight at UFC 279 earlier this month. He recalled that in a previous welterweight bout, ‘Borz’ leaned on a towel to deceitfully make weight.
‘Sugar’ insinuated that Chimaev doesn’t want to face bigger, elite UFC middleweights such as Paulo Costa. He also highlighted that Chimaev’s battle with COVID-19 in the recent past probably hindered his ability to cut to welterweight. Emphasizing that Chimaev’s next fight ought to be at middleweight, O’Malley stated:
“It doesn’t seem like he wants to go up to 185, which is kind of surprising because he is big, and he’s super f**king skilled, and he’s got to be confident.”
Addressing a potential Chimaev-Costa matchup, O’Malley added:
“Paulo [Costa], see that’s what I’m saying. I don’t know if he wants those fights up there. Those are big boys.”
Tim Welch suggested that high-ranking fighters who know how to manage distance and sprawl could weather Khamzat Chimaev’s first-round blitz and eventually defeat him. ‘Sugar’ concurred and said:
“Or you have good Jiu-Jitsu defense. Like, he gets you down. You guys play on the ground for a little bit. Second round, you guys are on the feet. He gets a little bit more tired…Those top-level guys aren’t gonna get subbed super easy.”
Watch O’Malley discuss the topic at 17:52 in the video below:
Jon Anik believes Khamzat Chimaev has a “ferocity” that Khabib Nurmagomedov lacked
Khamzat Chimaev and his coach have consistently maintained that ‘Borz’ aims to capture the UFC welterweight title and then pursue the UFC middleweight title. Regardless, UFC commentator Jon Anik and many others feel ‘Borz’ might be better suited for middleweight.
Speaking to MMA Fighting, Jon Anik labeled Khamzat Chimaev as the most dominant force in the sport today. He even claimed that ‘Borz’ possesses a ferocity that retired UFC great Khabib Nurmagomedov lacked. Anik said:
“I think he [Chimaev] is the most dominant force in the game right now. And there’s a ferocity to his game that perhaps didn’t totally exist with Khabib Nurmagomedov. I mean, Khabib was maybe more meticulous and certainly an absolute bear in there, don’t get me wrong. But Khamzat Chimaev is absolutely exceptional.”
Watch Anik’s assessment below: