Daniel Cormier refutes the idea Khamzat Chimaev could beat Israel Adesanya

khamzat chimaev, israel adesanya
Credit: Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via USA TODAY Sports

Although there’s been a recent debate that fast-rising UFC welterweight Khamzat Chimaev may have the style to beat reigning middleweight king Israel Adesanya, former UFC two-division king Daniel Cormier isn’t so sure.

Earlier this week, former UFC bantamweight and flyweight champion Henry Cejudo made headlines when he explained why he believes Chimaev (10-0) is the man that has what it takes to finally hand the 185-pound champion a loss in the division he has dominated.

Is Khamzat Chimaev a bad matchup for Israel Adesanya?

khamzat chimaev, israel adesanya
Feb 12, 2022; Houston, Texas, UNITED STATES; Israel Adesanya (red gloves) reacts after the fight against Robert Whittaker (blue gloves) during UFC 271 at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

“The guy that will stop [Adesanya] is actually a [170] pounder, and his name is Khamzat Chimaev,” Cejudo said on his “The Triple C & Schmo Show” podcast. “I believe Chimaev is just a whole other animal, dude.”

The suggestion is a fair one considering how absurdly dominant Chimaev has been using his vaunted wrestling. And Adesanya (22-1) has shown that his grappling is the one area where opponents can score points and steal rounds against him. Plus, despite being in contention for the UFC welterweight title, “Borz” has several wins at 185-pounds — two of them in the UFC.

Yet not every former UFC champ-champ agrees with Cejudo. During a new edition of the ESPN show “DC & RC,” co-host Cormier offered up his own opinion on the Adesanya vs Chimaev debate, and he doesn’t see the Russian being “The Last Stylebender’s” middleweight kryptonite.

“My problem with Chimaev is that Chimaev is gonna rush. Because he’ll rush to try and get Izzy out of there, he’s gonna get himself in trouble. I don’t know if Chimaev is the guy because he’s obviously smaller, but his style won’t allow for him to sit back with Adesanya,” Cormier said [h/t BJPenn.com].

As interesting as a Chimaev vs Adesanya fight would be, the matchup is unlikely to happen any time soon. Even if the unbeaten welterweight has pushed for the fight on Twitter.

Chimaev is likely one win over Gilbert Burns away from securing a welterweight title opportunity later this year. If he can shock the world and become a UFC champion before 2022 ends, then all things become possible in the money-driven world of the fight game. And a clash between the uber-popular fighters in 2023 may not be unreasonable.

Adesanya successfully defended his title for a fourth time over the weekend at UFC 271. Beating former champion Robert Whittaker in a rematch of their 2019 clash won by Adesanya.

Mentioned in this article:

More About: