UFC welterweight Khamzat Chimaev doesn’t think Kamaru Usman would last one minute in the boxing ring with Canelo Alvarez and thinks ‘The Nigerian Nightmare’ is delusional for pursuing the matchup.
Chimaev, who is preparing to fight Gilbert Burns at UFC 273, understands that Usman wants a big payday but says the UFC welterweight champ needs to be realistic: He’s never going to beat Canelo.
“How is he going to fight Canelo? I don’t understand,” Chimaev said on The Triple C & Schmo Show (h/t Farah Hannoun of MMA Junkie). “The only people who want to see Canelo and him are only him and his manager. Did you see how he hit pads? We have to be realistic about it and the guy is not that level in the boxing. I think I’m the best in the world, but I can’t say I can beat (Canelo) in boxing because I’m not a stupid guy. I understand how it works. The guy all his life did boxing, he knocked out – he killed so many good guys. How (Usman) can say, ‘I’m going to knock him out’? I understand he wants to make money.
“He has only one way to fight Canelo: if they make the fight one second. Just like start and finish. Then he can survive. He can’t survive one minute.”
Chimaev is confident in his own skills as a fighter but admits that even he would be out of his element against a boxer of Caenlo’s caliber.
“I’m never going to do that because I understand how it works,” he said. “It’s not my game.”
In the cage, though, ‘Borz’ says it would be a different story altogether.
“If he comes to my game, if Canelo comes to the UFC and fights with me, I can take 10 seconds and let him sleep. The guy never did wrestling, grappling, ground-and-pound, these things. You can’t do it.
“(Usman) can’t box, like go jump in from there. This is like a different game, like football and basketball.”
Chimaev will return to action to take on top-three welterweight Burns at UFC 273. The highly anticipated PPV, which features two title fights, takes place next month, April 9, at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida.