‘Cowboy’ Oliveira to Khamzat Chimaev: “I’m Right Here”
The UFC has yet to book Khamzat Chimaev's next fight, and rugged vet, 'Cowboy' Oliveira wants a shot at derailing his hype train.
Oliveira tells Chimaev “I’m right here”
Chimaev has become one of this year’s most compelling stories, on account of his 3-0 start to his UFC run. In July, he set a promotional record by becoming the first fighter to win two bouts in just 10 days.
Then, the undefeated fighter buzzed the MMA world again last month, by knocking out Gerald Meerschaert in just 17 seconds.
Well, as this is being written, the reported plan is to have Chimaev fight a ranked opponent, in the headliner of a fight night card. Various names have been mentioned, like Demian Maia and Stephen Thompson for example, but nothing has been finalized.
So, on account of all that, Oliveira recently told MMA Junkie the following, via his manager Alex Davis.
“I’ll take the fight no one else wants,” Oliveira said. “Chimaev, I’m ready for a fight at welterweight right now.
I see you picking and choosing opponents. I’m right here.”
“I’m itching to fight Chimaev,” Oliveira said. “If you want to pick and choose opponents, I’ll fight you.”
Would be a surprise
If you’ve followed Oliveira, his willingness here to face Chimaev shouldn’t be a surprise. ‘Cowboy’ is ridiculously tough, and he’s fought many, top tier fighters during his UFC run.
Now, if this was, say, taking place in 2018, the fight would be a lot more likely. In October 2018, Oliveira had gone 4-1 in his last 5 UFC bouts and would eventually face Gunnar Nelson that December.
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In other words, at the time, Oliveira was a contender on the rise.
But, after losing to Nelson, the Brazilian dropped two more, consecutive bouts. More recently Oliveira’s rebounded with wins over Max Griffin and Peter Sobotta. But, he’s not currently ranked in the top 15 of the division.
So, given that the UFC has big plans for Chimaev, it would be kind of surprising if this match-up happens.
Oliveira, however, deserves a tip of the hat for trying.