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What next for Khamzat Chimaev after another ferocious win at UFC 279

Khamzat Chimev is the new super villain of the UFC and has no problem taking on the role.

The terrifying Chechen star defeated Kevin Holland in the first round of their co-main event in Las Vegas on Saturday night in yet another ridiculous demonstration of his talents.

Much of the story surrounding the event was based on Chimaev missing seven pounds for his match-up with Nate Diaz, leading to a massive uproar of the card at the last minute.

Khamzat Chimaev went through Kevin Holland like a knife through butter at UFC 279

Khamzat Chimaev went through Kevin Holland like a knife through butter at UFC 279

Chimaev started the fight by immediately scoring a take-down on Holland

Chimaev started the fight by immediately scoring a take-down on Holland

Chimaev started the fight by immediately scoring a take-down on Holland

The fans in the T-Mobile Arena let Chimaev know what they thought of his lack of professionalism, and roundly booed him while the fight with the Netherlands lasted.

But Chimaev is a beautiful villain and didn’t seem to mind at all, roaring into the microphone: “Now! Say something! So what now?’

‘I am the most dangerous man here, I come for everyone. I’ll kill everyone.’

Aside from a bloody and brutal encounter with Gilbert Burns, Chimaev has made all of his opponents in the UFC look amateurish.

His relentless wrestling dominance has put him on the brink of a title shot, but now there is real uncertainty about his next move.

The UFC plans to have Kamaru Usman and new welterweight champion Leon Edwards hold a trilogy fight on British soil early next year.

So while the belt isn’t available, it remains to be seen who will take on Chimaev next.

Chimaev is lifted onto the shoulders of one of his coaches as he celebrates his easy win

Chimaev is lifted onto the shoulders of one of his coaches as he celebrates his easy win

Chimaev is lifted onto the shoulders of one of his coaches as he celebrates his easy win

He’s willing to fight anyone, that’s the well-founded confidence in his ability, but perhaps losing weight will mean so convincingly that a move to 185 pounds is inevitable.

If he chooses to stay under welterweight, Colby Covington is a compelling option.

‘Chaos’ needs a big win to put itself back in the title picture and the UFC wants to drive him out before the end of the year.

Chimaev would also be able to handle a quick turnaround given the lack of damage he suffered against the Netherlands.

Much will also depend on how eager the UFC is to give Chimaev another shot at the welterweight, given the risk that the fight may have to be scrapped.

Colby Covington also hopes for a welterweight tile opportunity

Colby Covington also hopes for a welterweight tile opportunity

Chechen-born Chimaev may now have to face title-hopeful Colby Covington

He is now a real star and canceling a huge fight at the last minute would be disastrous.

In the wake of Saturday night, White shared these fears, saying, “It’s a problem. That is one problem that he lacked weight. I don’t know. We have to look at it and figure it out. What makes sense is that he fights against [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 over [185].

“After he just didn’t arrive, I don’t know,” White said when speaking of Chimaev’s future. “There are many opportunities for him. Possibly at 170 or at 185.’

That said, his coach Andreas Michael now insists Chimaev is not done with welterweight, pointing out that he came into camp too heavy without enough time to throw it all off – while also blaming the Covid aftermath.

White was still impressed with Chimaev this weekend, despite frustrations over his unprofessionalism: “I don’t know if anyone expected him to do exactly what he did.

‘You don’t know what to expect from that man. This is like his fourth fight that he has never taken a punch.

Chimaev subdued Holland with a D'arce Choke during the first round to end the fight

Chimaev subdued Holland with a D'arce Choke during the first round to end the fight

Chimaev subdued Holland with a D’arce Choke during the first round to end the fight

“He’s an absolute freak of nature, and I don’t think anyone would have expected that, especially against Kevin, who is 6 feet. To say someone expected that, there’s no fucking way people expected that. I did not expect that.’

Chimaev has made no secret of his plans to move up to middleweight at some point. Champion Israel Adesanya is interested in the fight at some point, but only if he has some success in the division first.

“I don’t have to take him seriously until I have to take him seriously and that’s a man I would definitely want to fight if he does what he says he wants to do,” he told “True Geordie.”

‘Cause what do you think? He will draw a lot of eyes. That’s how it all starts, those are the ones crazy enough to make it happen. He’s on his way, but show me something first.’

“There was something he did in that fight, I won’t give it away, but I was like, ‘Hmm. I like that.’ I was really impressed. So that’s why I noticed him well.

Chimaev is still undefeated and remains one of the most fearsome fighters in the UFC

Chimaev is still undefeated and remains one of the most fearsome fighters in the UFC

Chimaev is still undefeated and remains one of the most fearsome fighters in the UFC

Dana White Is Concerned Chimaev Will No Longer Be Able To Reach Welterweight

Dana White Is Concerned Chimaev Will No Longer Be Able To Reach Welterweight

Dana White Is Concerned Chimaev Will No Longer Be Able To Reach Welterweight

“Right now it’s still barking in the wind because who was he fighting when he was 185? He can beat a lot of these top guys at 185, but let me see first.”

Robert Whittaker could be a solid option for Chimaev. The Australian has proven that he is head and shoulders above all but Adesanya, so it would be a real test of the undefeated star’s mettle.

Whittaker has just beaten Marvin Vettori and is talking about a weight gain, but Chimaev could revive the division and convince him to stay.

Another middleweight option is Paulo Costa, who has thrown in his hat to take on Chimaev.

“I know you just want to fight little boys, little boys, shy boys like Burns,” Costa told The MacLife.

“Guys you can beat and bully, but that’s not me. I’m a big, I’m the biggest middleweight in the UFC, so you can’t bully me. If you show up, I’ll be here, ready for you, ’cause you’re a ‘Gourmet Chechen’, you’re a fake gangster, so that’s it.

Robert Whittaker (left) could be an option for Chimaev if he progresses to middleweight

Robert Whittaker (left) could be an option for Chimaev if he progresses to middleweight

Robert Whittaker (left) could be an option for Chimaev if he progresses to middleweight

“I know this man doesn’t want this fight. He will try to fight against someone else who has no grappling, no jiu-jitsu, no wrestling. I have nothing more to say about that man. I’m fresh, I can fight him with just one hand because he’s broken, but I don’t care man.’

That broken hand means a fight is less likely in the coming months, but it would certainly be the makings of an entertaining match-up on paper.

Before anything can be set in stone, the UFC needs to sit down with Chimaev and find out if he really can operate more at welterweight.

If he decides to go up, that transition to losing weight and going back down will be all the more difficult in the future.

There are exciting fights for him in both classes, so whatever Chimaev decides, his next move will be followed by a huge amount of interest.