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Khamzat Chimaev warns Sean Strickland, says he is representing all Muslims

LockerRoom Team
Calendar Icon13 January 2024

In a recent charity appearance raising funds for Palestine, UFC middleweight contender Khamzat Chimaev addressed the controversial comments made by current champion Sean Strickland, emphasizing his focus on letting their potential fight settle matters in the cage rather than engaging in a war of words.

Strickland's fiery exchanges, notably with Belal Muhammad on social media, began after Muhammad posted a message supporting Palestine amid the ongoing conflict with Israel. Chimaev, who shared a similar message on his social media, noticed Strickland's avoidance of direct confrontation and attributed it to fear.

“He has to be afraid,” Chimaev asserted during an interview with Mohammed Hijab on his YouTube channel. "I’m coming for him."

Despite Chimaev's outspoken nature, he expressed a desire to set a positive example for viewers, especially the Muslim community, focusing on the fight within the cage rather than resorting to online insults.

“The fight’s in the cage,” Chimaev emphasized. “If we can make some people happy who are going through hard times, all Muslims watching us, me and Khabib [Nurmagomedov], all of the Muslim fighters, Belal [Muhammad], we know all the kids watching want to be like us, they want to be strong people. Inshallah, we try to be a good picture for them."

Chimaev's training history with Strickland at Xtreme Couture in Las Vegas adds another layer of intrigue to their potential showdown. Strickland's unexpected victory over Israel Adesanya for the UFC middleweight title surprised many, but Chimaev admitted having a feeling that something extraordinary might occur in that fight.

“I knew this fight, something was going to happen strange,” Chimaev revealed. "I was thinking if Sean Strickland gets the knockdown in the first round, I was thinking he was going to win the fight. I didn’t say it to anyone, I was just holding it to myself. He won the fight. He’s one of the good fighters, not bad, but for us, it’s no problem."

ALSO READ | Bo Nickal confident that he can beat Khamzat Chimaev

Chimaev, last seen in the UFC with a hard-fought win over Kamaru Usman in October, is currently recovering from a hand injury. Despite Dricus Du Plesis securing the next title shot against Strickland at UFC 297, Chimaev expects to face the winner in his return later this year, as promised by the UFC.

“He has the fight now, he has a good fighter who’s fighting with him [Dricus] du Plessis, if he wins against this guy, for sure we’re going to fight," Chimaev declared. "100 percent it should be. They promised me that fight. Now we’re going to wait [to see] who is winning that fight and take the belt.”


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