- Israel Adesanya is back on top of the UFC Middleweight division
- UFC 287 saw Izzy get redemption over longtime rival Alex Pereira
- Adesanya is next expected to defend his championship at UFC 293
Khamzat Chimaev thinks the UFC is protecting Israel Adesanya from the Swedish fighter.
Chimaev (12-0 MMA, 6-0 UFC) has been keen to return to action and appears to be gearing towards a welterweight showdown with former champion, Kamaru Usman at UFC 294 on October 22 in Abu Dhabi.
Chimaev has called out almost every top contender - whether at 170 or 185 pounds.
Among those names is UFC middleweight champion, Adesanya, who has cleared out the majority of his division.
Izzy already has defended his title against the likes of Robert Whittaker, Jared Cannonier, and Marvin Vettori, and Chimaev thinks he’s the most lucrative option out there for him.
“For Israel, there’s nobody there - only me,” Chimaev said on his YouTube channel. “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.”
The Swede acknowledges that Adesanya (24-2 MMA, 13-2 UFC) is one of the biggest stars and largest draws for the company, which is why he thinks the UFC won’t risk matching them up together.
"You know they built up him," Chimaev said. "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."
Chimaev believes both he and Adesanya make money for the UFC so he was unsure what the hold-up was.
“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.”
Potntial Adesanya and Chimaev fight
According to MMA Fighting, Adesanya is expected to headline UFC 293 on September 10 in Sydney but does not yet have an opponent announced.
Chimaev hasn’t competed since a first-round submission of Kevin Holland at UFC 279 this past September.
It remains to be seen if the UFC will set up what will appear a tasty bout between both fighters.
Powdrell drags Adesanya to court
Meanwhile, Sports Brief reported that Adesanya could face time in court, after his former partner reportedly demanded half of his net worth.
The new revelation was disclosed recently by fellow UFC fighter, Sean O’Malley, while speaking on a podcast streamed by Suga on YouTube.
Izzy and his ex-girlfriend were never married and have no children, yet she appears ready to approach the court for her investment in his success.