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Stephen Thompson says Khamzat Chimaev ‘should be at 185’ but admits Colby Covington a fun matchup

Should Khamzat Chimaev get another chance at welterweight?

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Stephen Thompson isn’t sure Khamzat Chimaev deserves another chance at welterweight after badly missing weight against Nate Diaz at UFC 279.

Chechnya-born, Sweden-based Chimaev was demoted to the co-main event where he submitted Kevin Holland at a catchweight of 180 pounds after missing weight by seven and a half pounds against Stockton’s Diaz.

Welterweight veteran and two-time UFC title challenger ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson thinks Khamzat ‘should be at 185’ after his historic UFC 279 weight miss but admits Colby Covington is a fun matchup that makes sense given the current circumstances, with both men teased to fight next year at UFC London.

“From what I hear, he’s a very strong welterweight,” Thompson told MMA journalist James Lynch in a recent interview (h/t MMA Junkie). “He should be at 185. I don’t even understand why he’s still at 170. I know they’re trying to get him to fight Colby Covington, which I think is gonna be a fun fight. That’s gonna be a fun fight [against] somebody who’s as strong a wrestler as Khamzat. But the thing is, is he gonna make weight? Can he make weight?”

Thompson continued: “Don’t take anything away from Kevin Holland after that fight. I mean, it was a days’ notice. Fighting somebody as big and strong and wrestling savvy as Chimaev, I thought he held his own right there in the first round. A lot of crazy scrambles. He’s very scrappy on the ground. He really is; Kevin is. Which was kinda messed up, he goes in to give him a high five and he [Chimaev] shoots right in for the legs, ends up taking him down. I’m like, oh, come on, man. Should’ve just gave the guy a high five.”

Khamzat has competed at both welterweight and middleweight, but his toughest test came in the form of a Fight of the Night epic with top-ranked welterweight Gilbert Burns at UFC 273. ‘Borz’ won the fight via unanimous decision, extending his UFC record to 5-0 that night (11-0 MMA). He is currently #3 in the UFC welterweight rankings and is considered by some to be the most talented UFC prospect since Jon Jones.