Khamzat Chimaev is willing to move up in weight if he can’t get a title shot at welterweight with a victory over Nate Diaz at UFC 279.
The undefeated Chechnan understands the UFC will likely book a trilogy between Leon Edwards and Kamaru Usman no matter the result on Saturday. And If that’s the case, he’s happy to move back up to middleweight.
Chimaev, 2-0 at middleweight, will look to fight the winner of Israel Adesanya vs. Alex Pereira for the 185-pound title should the UFC decide to book an Edwards vs. Usman trilogy after his fight against Diaz at the weekend.
“If they want to do it, for me no problem,” Chimaev (11-0 MMA, 5-0 UFC) told ESPN of Edwards vs. Usman 3 (h/t MMA Junkie). “I’m gonna take some other fight, and we will see what’s happening. Maybe Israel Adesanya or the other guy, Pereira. Who wins that, maybe fight with them. I don’t know.”
Chimaev hasn’t fought at middleweight since 2020 when he knocked out Gerald Meerschaert at UFC Fight Night 178. Since then, he has made a name for himself at welterweight, notching back-to-back victories over Li Jingliang and former title challenger Gilbert Burns, beating the latter in a Fight of the Night at UFC 273.
UFC 279: Chimaev vs. Diaz takes place this Saturday, Sept. 10, at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.