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Khamzat Chimaev to move up to middleweight division after the disastrous weight-cutting at UFC 279

Khamzat Chimaev might soon be prepared to dedicate himself to the middleweight class.

The unbeaten Chechen, who has competed in the UFC at both 170 pounds and 185 pounds, has hinted at a potential weight-up after a catastrophic cut that forced him out of the main event at UFC 279 and almost prevented him from competing at all.

Chimaev wrote a message on Twitter on Friday with the single word "185" and a picture of himself as the only attachment.

Of course, Chimaev has already admitted that he intended to compete in two weight classes in the UFC with the hopes of eventually winning crowns in both divisions. When he weighed in at 178.5 pounds, which is 7.5 pounds over the limit for a non-title bout, his quest for welterweight gold suffered a severe setback, as he missed the opportunity to fight Nate Diaz.

After his dominating victory over Kevin Holland in a catchweight contest, Chimaev still managed to stay on the event, although UFC president Dana White advised him to step up to middleweight.

“It’s a problem,” White said just after UFC 279 ended. “That’s a problem that he missed weight. I don’t know. We’ve got to look at it and figure it out. What makes sense is for him to fight at [185 pounds], so we’ll see.

“It is what it is. It happened. We’ll go back this week and come up with a plan and probably have him fight at [185].”

On record, it appears that Chimaev will have an easier time winning the middleweight championship than the welterweight one because the current champion, Israel Adesanya, has already destroyed most of the other contenders. Before turning his attention to Chimaev or anybody else, Adesanya must first defeat longtime rival Alex Pereira at UFC 281 in November.

Nevertheless, with Chimaev hinting at a transfer to middleweight, a sizable number of contenders will probably begin lining up to welcome him back to the division where he presently holds a perfect 4-0 record and two UFC first-round knockout victories.


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