Chiamev’s (10-0) ascent to UFC relevancy over the last two years has been remarkable. He’s fought four times in the Octagon, scored finishes in every bout, and ended three of those in the first round. Even more incredible is that his opponents have landed fewer strikes on “Borz” than he has victories in the UFC’s fabled cage.
Considering he is already ranked in the division’s top-10 and has faced minimal resistance so far as a professional fighter, it’s not a surprise then that there are those pondering the possibility of an eventual clash with weight class king Usman (20-1). Another fighter who has had been dominant during his tenure in the UFC.
Gustafsson says Khamzat Chimaev would put Kamaru Usman to sleep in a fight
Gustafsson is one man who knows what it takes to compete at the highest levels of the UFC, and how talented Chimaev is. The three-time light heavyweight title challenger has trained with the Chechen crusher for several years and is well aware of Chimaev’s endless potential. He also has a great deal of respect for “The Nigerian Nightmare.” But that doesn’t change the fact that he believes Chimaev will destroy any challenge put in front of him.
“I think he’d put Kamaru Usman to sleep, honestly,” Gustafsson told ESPN [h/t MMAJunkie]. “I think if he just touches his chin, it’s a big chance that Kamaru Usman goes to sleep. I like Kamaru Usman. He’s a great champ, and he’s just been breaking records, and it’s a pleasure to see him fight because he’s very good. I love his jab and his wrestling, and you can see that he’s on top. But I just can’t see him take Khamzat’s punches.”
“The Mauler’s” opinion isn’t from bias because he’s a long-time teammate. No, his perspective comes from seeing the 27-year-old’s work rate and toughness in the gym. And for a fighter that has traveled the globe and seen some of the best in the world train, he claims Chimaev’s dedication to his craft is second to none, because he does not get tired, and is never deterred by the brutality of MMA training.
“I met a lot of MMA athletes and fighters and all that, and he stands out for sure because of his dedication. Because of how he out-trains everybody. There’s nobody that trains like him. Nobody,” said Gustafsson. “I haven’t seen it. I have been around the world seeing fighters train and having their camps and training for a fight. This guy just doesn’t get tired. He doesn’t feel any pain, just goes through it.”
Chimaev would need to do a lot to rocket up the rankings into a title fight in 2022. However, if a rumored matchup with former title challenger Gilbert Burns does come to fruition, and he can dominate an elite talent in the same way he has everyone else, a Chimaev vs Usman matchup could become a reality far sooner than expected.
Does Gustafsson’s opinion of Chimaev change any previous opinions you had on a possible Chimaev vs Usman matchup down?