Israel Adesanya says he would “definitely” fight Khamzat Chimaev once he has a reason to take him seriously

By Harry Kettle - March 1, 2022

UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya has said that once Khamzat Chimaev has earned the opportunity, he’d definitely be willing to fight him.

Israel Adesanya, UFC 259

While he may be 4-0 in the Ultimate Fighting Championship, Khamzat Chimaev has split those wins between welterweight and middleweight. It’s not exactly a secret that he wants to become a champion in multiple divisions but given that he’s preparing to square off against Gilbert Burns at 170, it may not make sense for him to be in the 185 discussion for a while yet.

Still, that hasn’t stopped questions being posed to Adesanya about the rise of “Borz”, with the middleweight king making it clear that he’s open to the possibility of fighting him.

“I don’t have to take him seriously till I have to take him seriously,” Adesanya said. “And that’s a guy that definitely, I’d like to fight – if he does what he says he wants to do – because guess what? He will bring in a lot of eyes.”

“He’s on his way, but show me something first,” Adesanya said. “His last fight made me take notice. That was one where I was like, ‘Ooh.’ I know how Jingliang is – he’s good. … There was something he did in that fight – I won’t give it away, but I was like, ‘Hmm, I like that.’ I was really impressed with (what he did).

“So that’s what made me take notice of him properly. But at the moment, still, it’s just barking in the wind because who’s he fought at 185? Look, he can beat a lot of these guys at 185, a lot of the top guys, from what I’ve heard. But let me see it first and then we’ll start talking before all this hype around him.”

Quotes via MMA Junkie

Will we see Israel Adesanya defend his belt against Khamzat Chimaev in the future? Let us know your thoughts down in the comments, BJPENN Nation!


Israel Adesanya Khamzat Chimaev UFC