Dana White Talks Khamzat Chimaev, Demian Maia Fight Possible
Khamzat Chimaev was sidelined due to visa issues, but Dana White's reporting that's been worked out and they're working on his next fights.
Khamzat Chimaev’s plans to fight as often as possible hit a roadblock, on account of visa issues the undefeated prospect incurred. But, now Dana White’s reporting that the UFC’s worked that out and they’re working on Chimaev’s next bouts.
Not only that, White says they’re looking at longtime contender, Demian Maia, as a possible opponent.
Chimaev – Maia fight possible
The 26-year-old Chimaev made history this past July, as the Chechen born, Swedish fighter became the first UFC fighter to win two bouts in ten days. Chimaev took on veteran middleweight John Phillips on July 15th and submitted him in round two, and on July 25th, he stopped fellow welterweight prospect, Rhys McKee.
Well, after those wins, Chimaev relayed he’s willing to fight pretty much anyone, anytime. White made it clear he wanted to grant the rising fighter his wish.
But, due to visa issues, plans to have Chimaev fight in August were shelved.
While talking to the media this week, however, White reported that Chimaev’s visa issues have been sorted, and that he’s heading to the U.S. (quotes via MMA Junkie).
“I think he gets here this weekend,” White said. “… He’ll fight here and he’ll fight on ‘Fight Island.’ This guy wants to (fight). I love that mentality.”
“We’re working on a fight for him here that’s still being worked,” White said. “We’re talking about him and Demian Maia on ‘Fight Island.’”
Will Maia take the fight?
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So, if you enjoyed watching Chimaev’s first two, UFC bouts, you’ll be happy to hear that it looks like we’ll see him fighting soon. It will be interesting to see who the promotion books to face Chimaev in Las Vegas.
Hearing Maia named as a possible opponent, however, is somewhat surprising.
The 42-year-old, jiu-jitsu legend has said that his next bout, which is the last on his current UFC deal, could also very well be his final fight. Maia has expressed an interest in fighting Diego Sanchez for some time now, and he repeated that interest following his loss to Gilbert Burns earlier this year.
Sanchez is currently booked to fight Jake Matthews, September 26th, however, which could be why the UFC’s looking at Chimaev – Maia.
But, does Maia want to close out his career fighting an up-and-coming force like Chimaev? Or a fellow veteran fighter, like Sanchez, whose career is also winding down?
There’s no doubt Maia is as game as they come, just look at his resume. But, it will be interesting to see if he signs on to fighting Chimaev.