UFC welterweight and middleweight prospect Khamzat Chimaev believes Israel Adesanya is an easier matchup for him than Kamaru Usman because ‘The Last Stylebender’ has ‘zero wrestling’.
That’s what Khamzat, who is undefeated at 10-0, told Ariel Helwani during a recent appearance on The MMA Hour.
The Swedish-based talent has vowed to squeeze Adesanya’s head off after he takes care of business against Usman at welterweight.
“Izzy, I think it will be more easy for me to smash that guy [than Kamaru Usman],” Chimaev said (h/t MMA Fighting). “He has zero wrestling. The guy he fought last time, he’s not a wrestler — he took his back. If I take his back, brother, I’ll squeeze his head off. I’ll take his head off. Easy money for me.”
Adesanya, the reigning UFC middleweight champion, is keeping close tabs on Chimaev but says the Chechnan has a long way to go before he enters title contention at 185 pounds.
“But at the moment, still, it’s just barking in the wind because who’s he fought at 185? Look, he can beat a lot of these guys at 185, a lot of the top guys, from what I’ve heard. But let me see it first and then we’ll start talking before all this hype around him,” Adesanya told True Geordie earlier this month.
Chimaev is expected to take on No. 2-ranked welterweight and former title challenger Gilbert Burns at UFC 273 next month, April 9, at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida.