Khamzat Chimaev Puts the Whole Welterweight Division on Notice at UFC 267

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It took just three minutes and sixteen seconds for the returning Khamzat Chimaev to put the entire welterweight division on notice with an absolute deconstruction on Li Jinliang at UFC 267.

Li entered the bout winning four of his last five and was ranked eleventh in the world in the division. He has crisp boxing skills, both offensive and defensively, and efficient enough groundwork that many pundits thought this would be a true test for the Chechen born fighter. 

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What people didn’t know was that Chimaev would have the answer sheet to that test and in the process make people realize a -600 betting odds weren’t large enough.

The Fight Itself

Chimaev quickly took Li down by picking him up and dropping him right in front of Dana White and Hasbulla. Chimaev proceeded to work the ground and land strikes while talking to Dana White, according to Chimaev in his post-fight interview he was yelling “I wanna fight them all! I’m going to kill him!” and in the proverbial sense, he did just that.

The fight stayed on the ground with Khamzat Chimaev nearly stopping it with strikes from Li’s back but when that wasn’t proving to be enough he decided to go back to his grappling roots. He would sink his left arm under Li’s chin and attempt a rear-naked choke that was fended off but when he released that and then transitioned to his right arm and turned over the fight was a wrap.

Li Jingliang showed the heart of a champion by not tapping and referee Jason Herzog was watching closely and called a stop to the action as he went out from the choke.

Chimaev celebrated with his corner and his people in the crowd before being interviewed by Daniel Cormier. Cormier asked him who he wanted next and Chimaev gave a very broad answer of “Everyone!” which made the crowd at UFC 267 very happy as well as Dana White cageside.

The answer to that question though is going to be something discussed a ton by everyone the rest of this weekend, who makes sense for the now 10-0 welterweight? He is bound to be in the top ten of the rankings next week so the UFC needs to decide if they want to take the slow and steady route with him or do they capitalize on the Chechen rocketship they have on the roster? 

Only more questions about Khamzat Chimaev after UFC 267, which will inevitably be fun ones. Tune into the MMASucka podcast on Monday to hear the guys predict what might be next for Chimaev. 

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