Khamzat Chimaev’s next bout may be set – against Neil Magny.
There has been a lot of speculation about who to pair rising star Chimaev with next, after he burst onto the UFC with three spectacular victories in 66 days. UFC journalists and fans have debated how to handle Chimaev – get him highly ranked opponents right away, or make him “earn his keep” through some more gatekeeper-type matches?
Speaking on this topic, Dana White had previously confirmed that Chimaev’s next fight would be set up against a ranked opponent. This type of fight can be hard to book, as ranked fighters typically want to fight other ranked fighters in bids for title shots. Who would agree to to fight the up-and-coming Chimaev who has looked sensational in the octagon thus far?
Well, Neil Magny was one to accept the challenge, announcing on social media a few weeks ago he was “ready to scrap any day in November”:
— Neil Magny (@NeilMagny) September 26, 2020
Then today, Chimaev’s manager Ali Abdelaziz tweeted to Neil Magny:
@NeilMagny You are the man I respect you a lot
— Ali Abdelaziz (@AliAbdelaziz00) October 14, 2020
This could mean many things, but most are in the belief that this represents a step forward for the potential match. Perhaps both camps have verbally agreed, and the contracts still need to be signed, but things are close to finalizing the deal. It’s hard to say for sure, but we will be following this one closely.
We last saw Chimaev at UFC Vegas 11, where he knocked out Gerald Meerschaert in 17 seconds in what we expected to be a heavy grappling bout. Chimaev has had a whirlwind last few months, which have included several UFC wins and being awarded his blue belt in BJJ.
Khamzat Chimaev has dazzled thus far, but Neil Magny would be a much steeper test for the Swedish fighter. Magny has won 5 of his last 6 fights and seemingly would have a chance to reduce Chimaev’s explosiveness with his grinding fighting style.
A Khamzat Chimaev – Neil Magny fight, were it to occur, would presumably take place later this year if possible.
This is a developing story and will updated as more news comes out.