Khamzat Chimaev believes the UFC is protecting Israel Adesanya from him.
Chimaev has not fought since UFC 279 in September when he easily submitted Kevin Holland in the first round. He's been keen to fight since with his next outing likely to be against Kamaru Usman at UFC 294 which takes place Oct. 22 in Abu Dhabi.
But even if that fight does take place, it'll be over a year on from his last fight with “Borz” calling out a number of names including Adesanya.
Adesanya recently became a two-time UFC middleweight champion and has virtually cleared out his division — aside from Dricus Du Plessis — and as far as Chimaev is concerned, he's the only lucrative option for “The Last Stylebender.”
The problem is the UFC doesn't want that fight to happen.
“For Israel, there’s nobody there – only me,” Chimaev said on his YouTube channel (via MMA Junkie). “So if you spoke about money, if you ask the fans, they want to see me and Israel. I’m a bad matchup for him. Everyone knows he’s going to lose the title (to me). That’s why they save that guy.”
Essentially, Chimaev believes Adesanya's value as a star will fall dramatically once he's done with him.
“You know they built up him,” Chimaev added. “They don’t want to lose him that fast. (I’d) finish that guy without punches, and that’s why they’re scared. Then (his) story’s dead, you know? They don’t want to kill that guy. Maybe the guy makes money for them, but I still make money, as well, so I don’t know what’s going on.
“Who is he going to fight? There is nobody. He wins against all the strikers, and I’m a wrestler – a killer. I squeeze the heads of my opponents. I’m the biggest name without the belt. When you fight with me, it’s more money, more fans. When I fight, everyone is waiting for my fight. When I fought with Gilbert (Burns), we weren’t main event, (but) everyone was waiting for us.”
It's certainly a great fight, but with Khamzat Chimaev still lacking a win over a ranked opponent at 185 pounds and seemingly fighting Usman next, it's hard to see him getting a title shot against Adesanya in the first place.