DC not only predicts great success for Chimaev, but he believes that Chimaev will be a double champion in the UFC by the end of 2021.
“By 2021, Khamzat Chimaev is fighting for the belt or is the champ,” Cormier said on the DC & Helwani Show (via Jed Meshew of MMA Fighting). “In 2021, Khamzat Chimaev is the double champ, 170 and 185 (pounds). I love (UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya) but he goes up and down, he fights everybody. After what I saw. . . this spaceship is going to the moon. . . He’s got a great philosophy, he’s got a great mind for fighting, he’s got all the physical ability to dominate two weight classes, dude is the real deal.”
Chimaev has already picked up victories over John Phillips, Rhys McKee and Gerald Meerschaert in his brief UFC tenure. Cormier also believes that Chimaev may not be tested until the UFC books him against an elite fighter.
“Do you want to see him get tested?” Cormier said. “Because he’s honestly not going to get tested until he gets to the elite of the elite. But I mean, who do you match him up with? He’s got to be almost ranked. . . I want him with one of the best guys. Put him in a top-10 fight. Neil Magny. Put him in there with Neil Magny. That’s the one.”
The rising star is expected to fight Demian Maia next, but that bout has not been made official at this time.