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USA Today Sports Media Group
USA Today Sports Media Group
Farah Hannoun

Khamzat Chimaev wants UFC champ Alex Pereira in January then Colby Covington in March

Khamzat Chimaev has a two-fight plan which includes the middleweight title and Colby Covington.

Chimaev (12-0 MMA, 6-0 UFC) wants newly crowned middleweight champion Alex Pereira (7-1 MMA, 4-0 UFC) at UFC 283 on Jan. 21 in Rio de Janeiro, then he wants to move back down to welterweight to take on former title challenger Covington at the rumored UFC 285 event on March 6 in Las Vegas.

“Borz” says he texted both UFC president Dana White and matchmaker Sean Shelby to inform them of his plans.

“I’m ready for Pereira, too, in Brazil, and directly after that March if Colby wanna fight,” Chimaev told ESPN. “So I think I might fight for the title 84 (kgs) and then go down to 77 (kgs) and fight Colby as well.”

He continued, “Who’s fighting in Brazil? I don’t understand. It’s not that good of an event so if they let us fight, it will be a big event.”

Only Shelby responded to Chimaev, who says the UFC likes the idea of him fighting Covington (17-3 MMA, 12-3 UFC) in March. But Chimaev is yet to hear any interest from Covington’s side.

“He said, ‘OK brother, we go first Colby,’ so maybe Colby,” Chimaev said. “For me it doesn’t matter. Colby is just not talking about that fight and about me. Colby when he fights somebody, he just doesn’t stop talking… so we will see.”

Someone who has expressed interest in fighting Chimaev on numerous occasions is Belal Muhammad, who is coming off a TKO win over formerly unbeaten Sean Brady at UFC 280.

“Belal talking about me as well so (if) he’s ready, he’s ready so for me it actually doesn’t matter,” Chimaev said. “Just give me some fight and let’s fight. I’m ready. I’m ready for both divisions as well.”

Chimaev is coming off a quick submission win over Kevin Holland in a catchweight bout at UFC 279 in September. It was contested at 180 pounds after Chimaev missed the welterweight mark by 7.5 pounds for his originally scheduled bout against Nate Diaz.

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