Khamzat Chimaev
Khamzat Chimaev

Dricus Du Plessis Criticizes Khamzat Chimaev’s Title Shot Prospects

Du Plessis doubts Chimaev’s title shot validity

The atmosphere around Khamzat Chimaev is tense these days. While fans acknowledge Chimaev’s immense potential and possible future as a UFC champion in two weight classes, his health issues have kept him sidelined. This has led to growing frustration, particularly after Chimaev’s withdrawal from UFC Saudi Arabia last month.

With a middleweight title fight approaching in August, current champion Dricus Du Plessis has voiced his concerns. He argues that fans need to temper their expectations of Chimaev to avoid further disappointment.

Dricus Du Plessis on Khamzat Chimaev’s Title Chances

During a recent press conference in Australia for UFC 305, Du Plessis and former champion Israel Adesanya had a heated face-off. Post-event, Du Plessis shared his thoughts on Chimaev with Submission Radio, especially after Chimaev’s recent pullout.

Du Plessis remarked:

“I would love to fight Khamzat, no one has beaten him, and he was almost like a Boogeyman in this division. But let’s be honest, I was disappointed that the fight didn’t happen – but not particularly surprised, to be honest. I didn’t expect it, but you almost have to in this stage, expect something to happen.”



Title Shot Discussion

Du Plessis doesn’t see Chimaev as a viable title contender currently. Despite Chimaev’s reputation, Du Plessis believes it’s unreasonable to consider him for a title shot.

“Right now it’s not even sensible to talk about it. He hasn’t fought a single ranked middleweight, not one, and including him in that discussion now seems like a waste of time.”

As of July 2024, Chimaev has had three middleweight fights in the UFC: against John Phillips, Gerald Meerschaert, and Kamaru Usman. Du Plessis feels these fights don’t justify a title shot.

“He’s not in the game and until he proves he deserves to be, there’s no reason to talk about it.”

In his interview, Du Plessis also expressed skepticism about Chimaev’s ability to handle top middleweights due to his reliance on strength rather than skill, which might not be as effective in the higher weight class.

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