When retired UFC star Ben “Funky” Askren looks at his old welterweight division he sees Khamzat Chimaev as the one fighter that stands out the most. And if “Funky” could choose, he would like to see Chimaev face Colby Covington next.
“Chimaev is probably the one with most heat in that division, where people are excited about him,” Askren said in a recent interview with Helen Yee. “His last fight versus Gilbert Burns wasn’t as dominating as some people hoped it would be. Gilbert Burns is a really good opponent, so I don’t think having a competetive fight with him is as negative as some people ring it out to be. He probably get’s one more big win, I think Colby makes the most sense.”
“If he can’t beat Colby he probably not going to beat Marty”
No. 1 ranked Covington is as tough as anyone in the top of the stacked welterweight division, and so far, he has been the biggest challenge for the dominant champion Kamaru Usman.
“I think it’s a hard fight, but I think, you know, if he can’t beat Colby he probably not going to beat Marty (Kamaru Usman),” Askren said. “And if you are Chimaev you’re like ‘Let’s go freaking do this. I’m ready’. Colby is probably the only one that is better than Gilbert Burns in the division, that’s not the champion.”
Believes that Khamzat will stay at the top for a long time
After just five UFC fights, Chimaev is already in the mix for a title shot. “Funky” believes that the rising star did a good job promoting himself to get to the top of the stacked division.
“I think it’s good, I think the faster you can move the better, because once you get your name out there then you only have big fights after that,” Askren said. “Now that he is there, I don’t really foresee him going back for quite a while.”
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