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Israel Adesanya sees potential in future Khamzat bout: “He’s a big-money fight”



Israel Adesanya Khamzat Chimaev UFC

Israel Adesanya and Khamzat Chimaev . Photo: Jasmin Frank-USA TODAY Sports och Stefan Romare

On Saturday, Israel “The Last Stylebender” Adesanya will defend his middleweight title against contender Jared Cannonier in the UFC 276 main event. The champion seems pretty confident that he will succeed, and already has his mind on new fights.

Besides obvious future opponents like Alex Pereira and Sean Strickland, “The Last Stylebender” also has his eyes on a certain welterweight fighter named Khamzat Chimaev.

“I like a guy like that cause he’s a big-money fight, you know,” Adesanya said. “And I hate calling out guys in the weight class below me but this is not a callout. And he’s fought at 185, but yeah, that’s a big money fight, I like that.”

Read more: UFC 276: Adesanya vs. Cannonier – Full Fight Card, Start Time & How to Watch

Liked how Khamzat Chimaev fought Gilbert Burns

Khamzat Chimaev is currently No. 3 ranked in the welterweight division, but fought as a middleweight as well. In his very first UFC bout, Chimaev submitted John Phillips in the second round, and two months later he knocked out Gerald Meerschaert in just 16 seconds.

“If Khamzat does well, I actually like the way he fought Gilbert Burns,” Adesanya Adesanya told TSN. “It made me like, ‘Alright, this guy’s got some heart, he’s got some fire in him.’ If he actually, I don’t think he’s gonna get past Usman, I don’t think he’s even gonna get by someone like Leon.”

“Like, if he gets past any of those guys and works his way up to becoming ‘champion’ in some parallel universe then he defends it a couple of times then wants to fight me, I welcome that fight.”

Read more: Ben Askren talks Khamzat: “The one with most heat in that division”

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