Israel Adesanya thinks it might be time to pump the brakes on the Khamzat Chimaev hype train.
‘The Last Stylebender’ has been impressed by what he’s seen from ‘Borz’ at welterweight but he isn’t sold on the idea that the latter could hang with the big boys at middleweight.
Adesanya, the reigning UFC middleweight champion, said Chimaev needs to prove himself at 185 pounds before he starts talking about becoming a two-division champ and smashing everybody in the UFC.
“I remember someone said that to me at the post-fight press conference and I was like, ‘Okay. And?’” Adesanya said on Hotboxin’ with Mike Tyson (h/t MMA Fighting). “I feel like when a dog barks at the moon, that’s normal, but when the moon barks at the dog, that’s something special.”
“This guy fights at welterweight,” he added. “He’s fought at middleweight one time, and he fought a low-ranked guy. He definitely can beat some middleweights but I’m like, show me something. Show me something. His last fight was impressive. I might not like you, but if I’m impressed by what you do, I will give you props. He’s a beast. But he’s a beast at 170.”
Chimaev will look to extend his unbeaten streak to 11-0 when he takes on No. 2-ranked welterweight Gilbert Burns at UFC 273. The pay-per-view extravaganza takes place Saturday, April 9, at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida.