Josh Thomson: Khamzat Chimaev has ‘a lot of great gifts. Fight IQ is not one of them.’

Josh Thomson thinks Khamzat Chimaev needs to manage his energy, or it will eventually cost him.

Chimaev (12-0 MMA, 6-0 UFC) ran through Kevin Holland (23-8 MMA, 10-5 UFC) in Saturday’s UFC 279 co-main event, scoring a first-round D’Arce choke submission at T-Mobile Arena.

“Borz” stormed out the gate, immediately shooting for a takedown. Holland proved to be scrappy and tough to keep down, but ultimately Chimaev overwhelmed him. While Thomson lauds Chimaev’s skills, the former Strikeforce lightweight champion thinks his style will eventually cause him to burn out.

”Chimaev used a lot of energy in those first initial takedowns,” Thomson said on his “Weighing In” podcast. “And even the commentary team was saying he’s breathing heavy. He’s one of those fighters that fights this way, and he’s gonna realize how like a Michael Chandler, you’re going to run into someone who can take everything you dish out. And what are you gonna do if you burn your gas, if you burn the candle on both ends?”

He continued, ”Chimaev is a good fighter. He’s got a lot of great gifts. Fight IQ is not one of them.”


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Thomson thinks Chimaev could run into some trouble against a fighter like former interim welterweight champion Colby Covington, who is known for his cardio and pace.

“To me, one of those guys is Colby Covington,” Thomson said. “He’s not the greatest guy on the feet, but his striking works for him.”

He continued, “His style of standup, it looks horrible, but it works for him. And then you mix that with the ability to takedowns and stuff takedowns, and make you work, and his cardio – he’s kind of a bad matchup. He’s a bad matchup, I think, for Chimaev.”

For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC 279.


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Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie