It appears as though Sean Strickland is prepared for a match with Khamzat Chimaev. This was gathered from a tweet from UFC Fight Pass that seems to suggest that Strickland is ready to face Chimaev, who has just become the UFC middleweight division’s new top contender. It seems that Strickland didn’t hold back, which is not out of character for him. He is known to be vocal and candid about issues in the UFC middleweight division.
Chimaev made his 185-pound debut at UFC 294, where he triumphed against Kamaru Usman, the former welterweight King. Even though Chimaev is yet to beat anyone who’s ranked in the middleweight division, it seems that his victory was enough to secure him a shot at the title. This appeared to have been a promise made by UFC CEO Dana White before the match. During an interview on the UFC Fight Pass “Extra Rounds” show, Strickland expressed his doubts about Chimaev’s qualifications as the top contender in his new weight class. However, he made it clear that he would not stand in the way of Chimaev having the chance.
Strickland didn’t shy away from voicing his thoughts on Chimaev, stating, “The only thing I like about Chimaev is that he sells fights. People either like him or don’t like him. To me, he’s a paycheck. He sells a lot of fights. People pay to watch, but he hasn’t earned it. He doesn’t deserve it, but here we are. Give it to him. I’ll go fight him for five rounds. But no, he’s not earned it. He doesn’t deserve it. Getting a decision with a welterweight off the couch is not earning it.”
Strickland’s claim to the middleweight title was a surprising upset victory over Israel Adesanya at UFC 293 in September. He replaced Dricus Du Plessis who was initially next in line for a title shot but was unable to compete against Adesanya at UFC 293 due to health reasons. Following UFC 294, Chimaev confessed that he might have broken his hand in the first round against Usman. The extent of his injury is currently unknown, and it’s unclear if it will impact any future matches between Strickland and Chimaev.