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MMA experts disagree on Khamzat’s next fight: “Probably skip Whittaker”



Khamzat Chimaev 1 1 UFC Frontkick

Khamzat Chimaev. Photo: Jonathon Micheal

Khamzat Chimaev recently hinted at a move up to the middleweight division. Since he didn’t receive a single punch in his last fight against Kevin Holland, it’s not unthinkable that he could step into the octagon before the end of the year.

At the moment, the only top-ranked 185-er’s without a scheduled fight are Marvin Vettori, Paulo Costa and former champion Robert Whittaker. A win over either fighter could probably give Chimaev a shot at the title, if current champion Israel Adesanya beats rival Alex Perira in November.

On the “Weighing In” podcast a while back, MMA analyst Josh Thomson gave his opinion on Khamzat’s possibilities, and who to fight at 185 lbs.

“I think Whittaker is just all-around, too many weapons. I could be wrong. I think if we see him fight Paulo Costa and has a great performance, we see him fight Marvin Vettori and has a great performance,” Thomson said. “Probably skip Whittaker and go to whoever’s the champ at the time, whether it’s Pereira or whether it’s Izzy.”

Read more: UFC expert: This is why Khamzat Chimaev can’t fight Paulo Costa

“A big deal if you’re gonna be in there with Chimaev”

However, MMA expert Chael Sonnen seemed to think Whittaker is the fight to make. In a recent video, he broke down a potential fight between Khamzat and “Bobby Knuckles”.

“Robert Whittaker versus Chimaev is a very interesting match. Robert Whittaker does not get his credit. I know that you guys think he’s great, I know that he’s ranked number one, I understand those things, he’s better than that,” Sonnen said.

“His takedown defense is as good as anyone I’ve seen. Robert Whittaker has as good of anti-wrestling and as good a defense I’ve ever seen and that’s a big deal if you’re gonna be in there with Chimaev.”

Read more: Massive UFC Guide: 25 Great Fights You Just Can’t Miss This Fall!

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