Former two-weight champion Daniel Cormier has been helping rising UFC sensation Khamzat Chimaev to make waves in welterweight and middleweight categories.
Cormier was asked for his thoughts on the undefeated Russian-born fighter who defeated Gerald Meerschaert in one fell swoop after just 17 seconds when they met in September.
This was Chimaev’s third win in just over two months since he signed with the UFC after his record rapid-fire sequence of two wins in 10 days at Fight Island in July.
“Let me tell you something, I’m high on this guy,” Cormier told the media including RT Sport in Abu Dhabi. “That guy right there is something else.
“I couldn’t believe what he did to Meerschaert. Meerschaert was afraid. Meerschaert said the right things during the week: “I’m not afraid of this guy” and then the fight started, he looked like a deer in the headlights.
“He backs down, Chimaev leads him down and just hits him on the head. Meerschaert falls, the fight is over. What, eight seconds? Wasn’t it eight seconds? I mean that was the craziest fight.
“And this guy now would anyone say things like, ‘Khamzat Chimaev can do better than he can’ and I’m like ‘no way’.
“I’ve seen this overseas guy score 175 to five hits in two matches he just knocked out against Gerald. This guy’s a welterweight and that’s how he gets people to sleep. “
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Chimaev didn’t move to UFC until July but has already fought three times and expanded his overall MMA record to an impressive 9-0.
The 26-year-old’s UFC debut took place in the middleweight division against John Phillips, whom he defeated in the second round on July 16.
Just 10 days later, the Swede had a welterweight knockout win against Rhys McKee before returning to middleweight division last month and stopping Meerschaert in a flash.
“Good luck with Khamzat Chimaev, 185 or 170,” added Cormier. “I’ve talked about it [welterweight champion Kamaru] Usman and the guys who have the chance to run the table for a while. If this child continues to rise, it will be a real problem for everyone. “
UFC chief Dana White has signaled that Chimaev will top a card in Las Vegas later this year, but the promotion has yet to find a willing opponent.
Welterweights like Colby Covington and Stephen Thompson have said they are not interested in fighting the unrated Chimaev right now, but British middleweight Darren Till offered to fight him after he faced Jack Hermansson on December 5th was.
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On the possibility that Chimaev is facing Till in the octagon, Cormier said: “If he fights Darren Till, we will know exactly where he stands because Darren Till is a bad, bad boy.”
Till is currently sixth in the middleweight division and beating Hermansson in fourth would likely see him climb higher.
The Englishman is 18-3-1 in MMA despite his three losses in his last four fights.
He suffered the first loss of his career in 2018 when he failed to remove Tyron Woodley’s welterweight belt and was knocked down by Jorge Masvidal in a shock defeat on home soil in March last year.
A middleweight return proved successful last November when he defeated Kevin Gastelum in a separate decision, but he lost to Robert Whittaker unanimously in July – that same night Chimaev beat McKee.