It looks like the UFC has big plans for a top prospect that made his mark very quickly in July.
Khamzat Chimaev (8-0, 2-0 UFC), who made a huge impression on fans by dominating and stopping two opponents in 10 days on Fight Island, has dealt with his visa issues and has been re-booked for a September bout in Vegas. Combate reports that Chimaev will meet Gerald Meerschaert on September 19th.
There’s more though. While speaking to the media earlier today, UFC president Dana White revealed that if Chimaev can get through GM3, he will get matched up with UFC legend Demian Maia later in the year.
Chimaev had been intent on fighting in short order again following his two quick July victories, but had some issues securing a US visa to compete in Vegas. He was able to clear that up though and according to John Morgan of MMA Junkie, it was Dana that helped him secure it.
“Nothing is impossible to Dana White. He is the new James Bond,” Chimaev apparently stated in regards to the situation.
Meerschaert (31-13, 6-5 UFC) is coming off a TKO loss to Ian Heinisch in June, and has alternated losses and wins over his last five bouts. He didn’t take too kindly to being viewed as a stepping stone to a degree, and made his intentions clear on Twitter:
He's not leaving the cage physically able to fight in October. https://t.co/S3uAjlAVmi— Gerald Meerschaert (@The_Real_GM3) September 4, 2020
Maia (28-10, 22-10 UFC) had a three-fight winning streak broken in June when he was stopped by Gilbert Burns. Maia stated after the Burns loss that his next fight will be the last on his contract, but he is open to re-signing with the UFC for at least one more bout.
The UFC’s September 19th event will be headlined by a grudge match between former welterweight champion Tyron Woodley and former interim champ Colby Covington.