It’s been a while since we’ve seen Khamzat Chimaev in the Octagon, but “Borz” is determined to make the occasion an emotional one for his opponent when he returns to action at UFC 294.
Chimaev is set to take on Brazil’s Paulo Costa in Abu Dhabi on October 21, and made a bold claim ahead of their middleweight matchup at the Etihad Arena.
“I’ll make that guy cry in the cage,” he told TNT Sports’ Caroline Pearce backstage at UFC London.
“I don’t know. I make everyone scared. (Kamaru) Usman said ‘He’s the Boogeyman.’ All these guys think about me, and when it comes to the fight, they have some surgeries, some problems, so I don’t know.
“I’ll fight with everybody. Ask Dana White, I’ve never said no. So I’m ready, always. And yeah, I been out for a long time, so I’ve been training all the time. When big money comes… it’s hard to make fights for me now.”
Chimaev has blown through the opposition since arriving in the UFC back in 2020. But by the time he returns to the cage this fall, it’ll be 13 months since his last fight. Chimaev puts that down to the difficulty in finding him opponents, but in order to make things easier, he said he’ll campaign across multiple weight classes, including light heavyweight, in a quest to become a multi-weight UFC champion.
“I’ll fight all divisions. It doesn’t matter, actually,” he explained.
“I’ll fight 93 (kilos, 205 pounds), as well. I asked Dana White or Mick Maynard, I don’t remember, when somebody jumped out of the fight with Glover for the title. I ask when somebody gets injured. Prochazka got injured, and I asked (for) this weight, as well. Let me fight for the title at this weight, but this never happened.
“So, it will come. All my titles will come soon. I’m ready for all divisions, it doesn’t matter for me. I can go down to 77 (kilos, 170 pounds), but I just need the time. Not like last time, give me more weeks, you know?”
For now, Chimaev’s focus is on the middleweight division, where he’s set to face former title challenger Costa, who will also return from a one-year layoff for the matchup. It’s a bout that Chimaev is clearly very confident he’ll win, and he reiterated his desire to break the Brazilian on fight night.
When asked of his plan for fight night, Chimaev was typically forthright.
“Smash. Smash somebody. Make money,” he said.
“Make that guy cry (and tell him) ‘Go home. Be in Brazil.’ Nobody likes him. All Brazilians write to me and support me. That guy is not Brazilian, so I’m gonna go smash this guy, make him cry.”