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Khamzat Chimaev Sets His Sights on UFC Gold: Warns Sean Strickland, 'Coming for You'

Khamzat Chimaev, the rising star of the UFC, is ready to make a statement in the middleweight division. After a year-long hiatus, he is gearing up to face Paulo Costa at UFC 294 in Abu Dhabi on October 21. Chimaev believes that a victory over Costa will position him just one step away from a title shot, and he has a clear message for the division's top contenders, including the current champion, Sean Strickland.

Chimaev's return to middleweight comes after an unfortunate weight miss in the welterweight division last September, which led to a reshuffle of UFC 279's top fights. During his absence, the middleweight title changed hands multiple times, eventually landing with Sean Strickland at UFC 293. With Strickland now holding the belt, the middleweight contender landscape has become wide open, and Chimaev sees this as his golden opportunity.

"Now it's my time," Chimaev confidently stated in his YouTube vlog. "Smash that guy [Costa], then it doesn't matter if it will be Izzy or Strickland or somebody else. We're coming for them."

Chimaev didn't hold back when addressing Strickland, the current champion.

"Strickland, coming for him," he continued. "If you stay there, man, coming for you too. He works hard, deserves it, the guy is always in the gym, now he got the belt. They deserve that belt. He has been active, fights with everybody. I don't know why [the UFC] is waiting. Give that chance to me. They are hiding that belt from me. Anyway, like I said, when I smash everybody, they have to give that belt to me."

Despite his prior hiccup on the scales, Chimaev has made a significant impact at middleweight in the UFC. He submitted John Phillips in his promotional debut and famously knocked out Gerald Meerschaert in just 17 seconds. Although he has primarily competed as a welterweight, Chimaev is confident that his performance won't be hindered by the switch in weight class.

"It's a different weight class," Chimaev acknowledged. "Different power, we eat different, not hungry anymore. At 77 kg, I eat just rice, rice [and] fish, rice [and] chicken, it's crazy. Now, more training than before, more food, more energy, different power, different energy, that's good."

Chimaev's message to his fellow fighters is clear: he's a force to be reckoned with in the middleweight division, and he's coming for the gold. As he prepares to face Costa, fans can't help but wonder if Chimaev's impressive skills and unwavering determination will indeed earn him a shot at the middleweight championship, putting the entire division on notice.


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