Khamzat Chimaev is dismissing the criticism he received after missing weight for UFC 279 this past Saturday.
Originally scheduled to fight Nate Diaz, Chimaev weighed in seven-and-a-half pounds over the limit, which forced a reshuffling of the final bouts atop the pay-per-view event on 24 hours’ notice. His reaction — shrugging his shoulders and giving the middle finger — led to intense backlash, and for the first time since joining the UFC, ‘Borz’ was booed heavily. And he couldn’t care less.
“You care about that s—t? I don’t care,” said Chimaev during his post-fight press conference (video provided by MMA Fighting). “I care about my family. I care about my career. I care about my money. So, what now? The people don’t leave me. One day they’re with me, one day they’re not with me.
“So, I’m real, guys,” continued Chimaev. “I like people that are real. Not fake people going one way or going the other way.”
The boos had little to no effect, and Chimaev went on to steamroll Kevin Holland, getting him to the ground and submitting him with a D’arce choke in the first round. The undefeated fighter then delivered a scathing post-fight interview, riling up the crowd before answering questions from UFC color commentator Joe Rogan.
One of them was regarding his weight miss and what it meant for him since he intends on competing at welterweight and middleweight. Chimaev squashed any concern and doubled down at his post-fight press conference, insisting he can — and will — hit 170 pounds when necessary.
“Of course, I did that before, why not?,” said Chimaev. “We’ll see, I have to go back and listen to my coach. If he says 170, we go 170. If he says heavyweight, we go to heavyweight. So I don’t care.
“I’ll do my training camp, train hard and never stop,” continued Chimaev. “After tomorrow, I’m going back and directly going to the gym. I have nothing to do, only gym. It’s my life.”
Though Chimaev still expects to fight at welterweight, UFC president Dana White wants him to consider a move up to middleweight.
“It’s a problem,” said White. “That’s a problem that he missed weight. I don’t know. We’ve got to look at it and figure it out. What makes sense is for him to fight at [185 pounds], so we’ll see.”