‘Nothing special’: Khamzat Chimaev unimpressed by UFC 297’s Dricus Du Plessis vs. Sean Strickland

Khamzat Chimaev was not impressed by the UFC 297 main event.

The middleweight title changed hands at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, as Dricus Du Plessis edged out a split decision over incumbent champion Sean Strickland. It was a close battle that left many wondering who would emerge victorious, as Bruce Buffer left everyone hanging on the edge of their seat as he revealed the final scorecard.

Chimaev (13-0 MMA, 7-0 UFC), who could find himself as the next contender for the title, saw nothing over the 25-minute fight left an impression. In fact, he believes he could exploit openings on both Du Plessis (21-2 MMA, 5-0 UFC) and Strickland (28-6 MMA, 15-6 UFC).

“I expected the fight to be like that,” Chimaev told ESPN MMA. “Nothing special. I think it was like 50/50. It could go on which side. Maybe it’s right. Maybe it’s not. I don’t know. For me, Strickland won that fight. But that was close fight for them both. But nothing special. Nothing making me like, ‘This guy’s somebody else.’ They both have a lot of things I can see where I can finish them.”

Chimaev believes the fight came down to the final round, which he scored for Strickland. He thought Du Plessis won Rounds 3 and 4, while Strickland won Rounds 1,2 and 5.

“It was a good fight, but at the same time nothing that special,” Chimaev said. “Just like hard sparring. Some takedowns, and they come up. Nobody tried to finish anyone, and that’s why it’s not anything special with that.”

“Borz” was last in action at UFC 294, where he picked up a majority decision win over former welterweight champion Kamaru Usman, who stepped up on short notice for the three-round, 185-pound fight. If his name isn’t called, Chimaev, currently ranked No. 9 by the promotion, isn’t sure who else would be up for the next middleweight title fight.

“Israel (Adesanya) is out, I don’t know when he’s coming back,” Chimaev said. “What did he say, 2027 or something? All these guys fought each other. Only me who is undefeated and undisputed, you know? 13-0. … They promised me after Usman fight, ‘You are for sure going to fight for the title.’ I won that fight. I heard Dana White said, ‘I don’t think Khamzat is next for the title.’ That’s bullsh*t.”

Chimaev would like to see the UFC CEO stick to his word and give him a shot at the title.

“I don’t care if it’s some president or something,” Chimaev said. “If you give your word, you have to answer for that. … I will be surprised if somebody fights for the title next that’s not me.”

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie